For most college students, a typical day consists of going to class, studying and writing papers.
For FC junior Tess Gentile, this is no different, except for one thing – she also has to focus on her position as Student Congress president.
Gentile, who was elected last April, said she knew that being Student Congress president would be hard work, but she welcomed the challenge. She said she wanted to play a role in changing things at FC for the better.
“This year would have been my third year on Student Congress. After being on cabinet I knew how everything worked. I saw some things I wanted changed and I decided that I wanted to be the one to change them,” Gentile said.
One of the things she wanted to improve upon was campus events attendance. Gentile explained that when you have smaller campus events regularly, student attendance is low. Gentile decided to have fewer events a semester and make each event bigger and better. She implemented a policy she calls “quality over quantity.”
In order to do this, Gentile and Student Congress have paired with many different Student Organizations to host events.
“Collaboration was one of my big goals. We have collaborated with 18 different organizations this semester, up from 7 last semester,” Gentile said.
Gentile also made changes within Student Congress. She said that implementing smile and move or “smove” was one of her bigger successes. “Smove” is the Student Congress theme for the year. In short, it means to have a positive attitude while doing Congress work. Gentile said she thinks that it has helped to eliminate negativity in the organization.
Being president of Student Congress has helped Gentile improve in many different aspects.
“I get shy and nervous speaking in front of people, and being president of Student Congress helps me have a commanding presence in front of a crowd. I have also learned how to deal with people and conflicts. It has probably been one of the best learning experiences I have ever been a part of. I know this sounds corny, but I feel like after doing this I could do anything,” Gentile said.
Although Gentile is undecided about running for a second term, she says it is definitely a possibility. However, she does have advice for anyone who is planning to run for president of their organization.
“I think it’s important to know the ins and outs of your organization. You should know the purpose and audience of your organization and most importantly know how to manage time, deal with conflict and manage people,” Gentile said. “One thing with Congress is learning how to be open minded because you are supposed to represent an entire diverse student body. And sometimes that can be a pretty hard job.”