Leading and Learning: Vice President’s Inspiring Role as a Diverse and Well-Rounded Leader

     As I contemplated the angle to approach for my assigned “Campus Celebrity” contribution, I tried to aim big.  Who was someone very involved and respected on campus that could provide insight and advice to collegiettes striving to pursue leadership positions or seek new experiences?  When I received Sara Saxner’s contact information and an invitation to interview her in her Oglesby Union office (oh the things I could/would do with an office on campus), I knew I had found just the right gal. 

     Saxner is a senior majoring in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences and doing a combined master’s program in public administration.  Additionally, she is earning a leadership study certificate.  As if her academic accomplishments thus far weren’t impressive enough, Saxner has held an astounding plethora of leadership positions that have made her (in my humble opinion) one of the most diversified and reputable women at this school today.  In the past, she has served as a founding Executive council member of her sorority Alpha Phi, an Orientation Leader, a Rho Gamma, the Vice Chair of the Oglesby Union, a Student Senator, and the Director of the Women’s Student Union. (Whew!) Currently, Saxner is the Student Body Vice President and works with SGA.  

     I promptly asked the 21-year-old what was most likely to come to the minds of you collegiettes after learning all that Saxner has on her plate: “How do you do all this”?!?! “The best thing for me has been learning my priorities,” Saxner said.  “I’ve learned to make sacrifices, but I’ve also learned to do what I love and to work with people I love”.  She reinforces the ideal that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life (hey, I love writing, and here I am at work in Strozier having a ball). 

     Saxner said the best part of participating in SGA was becoming exposed to such a diverse group of people.  She explained that diversity goes beyond race, and is expanded to include things like sexual orientation and the different ways of thinking that different people have.  “[Being in SGA] has given me transferrable life skills and I have learned a lot about myself [since I’ve been in it]” Saxner explains. 

     Due to the fact that this is a publication for “collegiate women”, I found it appropriate to specifically touch on the leadership role Saxner played in the Women’s Student Union.  Saxner explained that while she was director, they rebranded the once titled “Woman’s Center” into the union in order to “represent, advocate, and educate for women professionally, personally, and politically”.  Saxner remembers the experience as being a great way for her to expose herself to many different types of women.  She also mentioned that it helped her gain confidence to be on the first all-female SGA ballot in FSU history, along with her running mate Rosie Contreras.

(Side note: If you’d like to check out the FSU Women’s Student Union website, you can do so here: http://sga.fsu.edu/wsu/ )

     While Saxner may have already accomplished enough success for a lifetime, she hopes to complete her master’s degree and do consulting work in the future.  She also plans to seek positions in the public sector doing non-profit work.  As far as the future of this campus is concerned, she hopes FSU can become a more inclusive campus that stands out among other institutions of higher education and not necessarily shape to fit a particular mold. “I hope our school continues to have pride not only in our athletics, but other aspects as well” Saxner concluded. 

     Well collegiettes, the only additional insight I feel compelled to add is the emphasis on girl power here.  Let’s face it: we are awesome, we do have a voice at our school, and we can make a difference on campus and change it for the betterment of our student body.  Boys: we can’t do it without y’all either, don’t worry; we just might be a little more stylish while doing it (insert flirtatious smirky-face emoji here).

Final note: I’m so ecstatic that I finally got to use the word “plethora” in a published piece of writing!! (It’s the little things, people).

Saxner with running-mate and Student Body President Rosie Contreras.  (Photo cred: Sara Saxner)