With a new year comes a new Senate president. Student Government (SG) welcomes Sarah Lucker into the position for 59th term and Lucker plans to not only be a president, but an advocate.
Lucker was overwhelmingly voted in as Senate president with 32 out of 40 Senators present voting for her. She ran against fellow Senators, Yousef Afifi (who received the other eight votes), Suzane Nazir and Murzia Siddiqui.
Lucker, who will be beginning her senior year this fall, said the most important role for her as Senate president will be as an advocate for her fellow Senators.
“My main role is to be there to encourage them and support them (Senators) and really empower every member of Senate to become a leader in their own right,” Lucker said.
As a start to implement this, Lucker said one of the first initiatives she wants to work on is having one-on-one meetings with each Senator.
“I know it can be intimidating,” Lucker said. “I started Senate as a freshman and I didn’t really know how much work was going to go into it and having someone in my corner saying, ‘You can do this,’ and ‘Let me help you get these things you want to accomplish this year,’ is a really big encouragement.”
Lucker, chair of the policy committee for the current term, said her roles within Senate prepared her for this type of advocacy. Most importantly, she wants to help Senators work on their own initiatives and help them get involved on campus.
Being in Senate and filling these roles helped her grow as a person, according to Lucker.
“Starting off in Senate, I kind of had an unusual path,” Lucker said. “I’m an education major, and we do have a lot of political science and biomedical science students, and I really found this as my place to grow here at USF. It really helped me gain a lot of confidence in myself and I realized how much I could do to serve the students, try to make USF a better place for my fellow students and then wanting to give back for one more year.”
Even though Senate and SG as a whole may experience times of contention, Lucker said this common bond of service is what creates a familial atmosphere within Senate.
“All of us have different political views, different views on the issues that affect the student body,” Lucker said. “We can all come together with that main mission to serve others and if we all respect that, we can respect each other and make sure we’re accomplishing those big initiatives.”
On that note, Lucker said if there is ever anything students are upset with SG for or if a student simply wants to have their voices heard, her door is always open.
“Our office is on the fourth floor, but it’s always open for anyone who wants to come up there and speak with us,” Lucker said. “We’re all there because we want to be servants to the student body. I want to let students know that we are here to serve them first — we are students too — and we want to be open to communicating with them throughout this next year.”