Sallie Haas

SGA President Sallie Haas is Paving the Way for the Future of FIT

For Sallie Haas, her role as Student Government President came as a natural fit. With experience in Student Government in high school, Sallie has stepped into her role as FIT Student Government President with grace and strength. While some presidents are more concerned with the status and power that comes with their title, Sallie's main priority is serving the students of FIT and creating changes that will continue on long after she leaves FIT. With Sallie taking the lead, I am confident that the future of FIT is in good hands.

Her Campus: What’s your major?

Sallie Haas (SH): Fashion Business Management. 

Where are you from?

SH: New Jersey.

HC: What inspired you to run for student government president?

SH: After meeting several students and observing the concerns people had brought to my attention the past few years, I knew I had to do something about it. I don’t like to complain about an issue without an honest attempt to improve it. While I was aware of the faults of FIT, I have seen the great potential it holds, so it became my goal to make a difference. Running for President seemed like the right way to start.

Sallie Haas

HC: Were you involved in student government in high school?

SH: Yes, I was Student Council President my Freshman and Senior years of high school. It was a valuable experience that helped prepare me for my involvement in Student Government in college.

HC: Can you tell me a little bit about the responsibilities of the president?

SH: The President oversees the President’s Cabinet composed of 8 Secretaries and Directors, the Vice President (who oversees the Senate), and the Chief of Staff. In addition, the President usually focuses on one main initiative for the year. As the President, you also have a responsibility to be a representative on behalf of the student body. I serve as a member of the Board of Trustees, serve on the Planning Council for the institution’s Strategic Plan, and work with several offices on campus as a liaison between students and faculty/administration.

HC: What would you say is the most important issue to you and why? What are your plans for remedying it?

SH: I decided to take on an initiative focused on mental health. Over the past three years I have noticed that the epidemic has deep roots in our school, and there is little put in place to aid in student’s struggles with it. There are several ways we are looking to improve this issue. Although counseling services will serve as a focal point, I believe there is more to consider. We have a stigma associated with mental health on campus. It is often overlooked or dismissed because we are all in a high-stress environment and plan on entering a high-stress industry. However, the dismissal of mental health issues as “stress” has deemed itself to be even more damaging to our student population. We need to make sure students feel heard and that we actually provide resources and a community on campus that is willing to show support. I am aware that this may not be something I will see direct results from during my time here at FIT. However, I find it important to take on something students have repeatedly asked for and needed, rather than pursue a quick initiative I could accomplish in a few months.

HC: What legacy do you hope to leave behind at FIT?

SH: I think the moment a President is too focused on legacy, particularly what they’re remembered for, they’ve already missed the point of the role. I don’t care if I get recognition for what I did or if I am specifically remembered. If I leave the Student Government and FIT a better place than before, then I will know I fulfilled what I set out to do. I plan to pass on what my team and I have accomplished in the hopes that we don’t just solve a small problem each year, but rather that we make true structural and monumental change that students have been calling for and deserve.

Sallie Haas

HC: How do you hope to use your skills gained as student government president after graduation?

SH: Serving as the Student Government President made me grow not only as a leader, but also as a person. I have had the opportunity to work with over 40 people nearly every day with the common goal of advocating for the student body and improving FIT. It has been challenging at times, but what I have gained from the role is invaluable, and I am eternally grateful for this experience.

HC: Do you have any advice for underclassmen?

SH: The best advice I can leave for underclassmen is to find what genuinely inspires them and subsequently challenges them to accomplish what they never thought possible. Often, we do things for image or recognition, and that is not what will matter to you in a year or four years from now. Do what makes you happy and don’t be scared to immerse yourself in all that FIT has to offer. The rest will fall into place.