Name: Sarit Sandler
Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
Major: Film/Digital Media Communications
Sarit Sandler, just a mere sophomore here at Florida State University, is already conquering the world in her very own way. Her resume is just the beginning of what this 20-year-old can handle. Words cannot describe the unbelievable amount of passion, dedication and drive that Sarit has. As she would say, “I may only be 5”2, but my aspirations are tall and I’m ready to take on the world with my creativity and ambition.”
Her Campus (HC): You’re known by others as the girl who never sleeps! You have quite the schedule. What are some of the programs you’re a part of here at FSU?
Sarit Sandler (SS): To name a few programs I’m a part of is that I am a Resident Assistant at Southgate Campus Center, a SAP Chinese Mentor for Florida State, and Chabad at FSU.
HC: What made you initially want to get so involved with Chabad?
SS: As soon as I got to campus I spent my first Friday night at Chabad for the Shabbat meal and felt at home. I knew it was important to be involved with Chabad because my parents installed strong Jewish values and morals in me throughout my entire life.
HC: Not only are you a part of Chabad, on top of that, you hold the VP position! What urged you to run for it?
SS: Well, I thought back to when I was a freshmen last year, and how I would have wanted someone to reach out to me! I definitely thought being on the board would be the best way for me to reach out to new students who were interested in attending Chabad like I was! I truly enjoy making a difference in my Jewish community, and I hope that with the work that I do I can leave my mark on Florida State!
HC: You recently participated in a conference with StandWithUs. How was that?
SS: Yes! In November I went to LA for a StandWithUs conference. College students from all around the country gathered to discuss the importance of Israel and what we can do on campus to defend a country that is so valuable to us, the Jewish People, and the United States. It’s really sad to see that there is a lot of hate regarding Israel and anti-Semitism on so many campuses around the country. It is really incredible how much of a difference every individual can make on a college campus.
HC: You seem to get involved a lot with improving Jewish life not only on FSU’s campus, but other college campuses as well. What do you plan on doing in the future to keep this going?
SS: The core values in Judaism give us a set of moral principles that require people to treat one another with dignity and love and ensure justice and equality… so that’s something that I think Jews across all spectrums can relate to, something that brings us together on all campuses and beyond. I believe it’s vital for every campus to have a strong Jewish life. It gives students a sense of family and community away from their own homes. Why do I do it? I do it because I get so much joy out of it! Everyone makes fun of me calling me “their Jewish mom,” but I honestly take that to heart and do everything I can for my fellow FSJews. Especially when it comes to feeding them! As far as the future, I actually went on a conference this past weekend in New Jersey with students from diverse universities around the nation, some including Harvard, Yale, MIT and UCLA to help improve Jewish life on every campus. I was one of 21 who attended from around the country and it was an awesome experience provided by the Orthodox Union. They offered to help sponsor me next Fall to host some Shabbat meals in my own home and do even more for Florida State’s Jewish life on campus!
HC: You’re also a SAP Chinese Mentor here at FSU. What made you want to do this?
SS: I love taking care of people as you can tell… and this job is just that! I expose these international students to the FSU culture, American lifestyle and food, and make sure that they are doing well and adjusting to the university as well as facilitating and creating events on and off campus for them. For example, we went to see Beauty and The Beast together Thursday night here at FSU, and despite some minor language confusion they had a blast! I get to take them hiking, to the movies, to football games (Go Noles!). It’s really the best job ever in combination of being a Resident Assistant.
HC: As if everything you’ve mentioned so far wasn’t enough, you also have time to be a Resident’s Assistant (RA) at Southgate Campus Centre. What’s that like? With your busy schedule, why do this as well?
SS: As an RA I facilitate the social, academic, and personal adjustment of students to the residence hall and to Florida State University. I also help develop a sense of community among residents by serving as a positive role model. I enjoy mentoring younger students and helping them with whatever they need, whether that be advice, getting a Band-Aid or having late night discussions about why or why not they should or shouldn’t date that special someone. There are always people around to hang out with and it definitely give me a purpose for being here at this university even with my hectic schedule… you should see my color coded Google Calendar!
HC: It doesn’t end there though…tell us about your love for film, which is what you have selected as your major here at FSU.
SS: Well, I went to Douglas Anderson School of the Arts (D.A.), which is where I began my studies and passion for the art form of film. I felt so blessed to attend D.A. and was lucky enough during my time there to direct a documentary that placed in some festivals. I even had the opportunities to speak on Young Filmmaker Panels and attend YoungArts week. At my graduation they selected one senior to receive the “The Douglas Anderson Alumni Scholarship,” I was so elated and humbled when I received this award, and I definitely feel pressure (the good kind!) to uphold this title and make Douglas Anderson and Jacksonville proud of my film work and as an artist! I like to focus on creating films that emerge with themes regarding social justice such as: cultural identity, sexuality, religion, gender studies and locational representation. I think film gives so many people a voice and the chance to be heard—especially with documentary work! This summer, I hope to get my dream paid internship in New York City with a company that you definitely have heard of… but I’ll just leave it at that, I don’t want to jinx it!
HC: What are your plans for your future years here at FSU?
SS: My plans for future years at FSU…wow, tough question! Well, first, would be to continue to help students whether that be through Chabad, as an RA, a SAP Mentor, or something else along those lines. As you see, being Jewish is such a strong part of my identity so I hope by the time I leave FSU, I can help Chabad grow exponentially and more students have a Shabbat experience while here in Tallahassee…. whether at Hillel, Chabad, my house, or wherever! I want Jewish students to be proud of who they are and never feel shame for being a Jew. We may be small in number, but we are strong and mighty! Lastly, while here I want to create films that promote change, encourage people, educate, and of course, entertain! After I graduate from FSU, the goal is to to move to Los Angeles and work in the industry. I’m young and hungry, ready to jump on set as soon as can call myself a ‘Nole Graduate!