USFSP Student Government elected a new Student Body President – David Thompson. Thompson is a Junior on campus and is majoring in Political Science and minoring in Environmental Policy. He and his team not only won by a large margin, but accomplished a historic moment on campus: Thompson is the first black president to be elected in forty-five terms of Student Government. Thompson participated in an interview with Her Campus to introduce himself to the student body.
What made you choose USFSP?
David: I decided that if it was going to attend a University in Florida it had to be on the water, so I applied to USFSP. I was then invited to to attend Honors Brunch, as a prospective member of the program, I fell in love with the campus, the faculty and administration and everything the University has to offer.
What has been your favorite memory thus far on campus?
D: I would have to say Winter Wonderland from my freshman year – My friends and I had the most exhilarating snowball fight on Harborwalk.
What else are you involved in on campus besides Student government?
D: I’m currently a Compass Peer Coach for the First Year Experience Program, a Navigator Tour Guide, a Member of the Honors Program, the Marketing Chair for the Student Green Energy Fund, a member of the Capital Improvement Trust Fund, and most recently I was hired to be an Orientation Leader for the 2017 – 2018 School Year.
What got you involved and interested in Student government?
D: I got involved in Student Government in High School. For me, it was place where I fit in and I found a group of people who were immensely supportive of me and the things we wanted to achieve. I was surrounded by people who really wanted me to succeed and care about each other and that’s what kept me in.
What was your process in progressing in Student Government?
D: I joined Student Government as the Deputy of Public Relations within the Department of Communications in the Summer of 2015. In the Summer of 2016, I was appointed and confirmed as the Director of Communications before I was elected as the Student Body President.
When did you decide you wanted to run for President of Student Government?
D: It was something I had thought about for a long time, really since Dean Biafora brought it up at orientation. But it was in November that I really made the decision personally to run, talking with my parents.
Can you tell students some of what you wish to accomplish in your new role as President? Is there anything you wish to accomplish within the first 90 days?
D: The three main things I want to accomplish in my first 90 days are to get an on-campus convenience store, create a 24-hour study space, and develop a plan for the future of our athletics.
How will you allow students to see SG as a place to come to for their problems and issues on campus?
D: By being open and familiar with them. I plan to be at events for the student body and host open dialogues for the students to express their concerns.
How will you further the growth of USFSP? How will you work with the 2020 Strategic Plan?
D: By working to improve the student experience. After working in the Enrollment Management Marketing and Communications Department, I’ve become extremely familiar with the Vision 2020 and the role each of us has in developing our Institution.
How do you feel being USFSP’s first black President? Are you surprised you are the first?
D: Honored. A lot of people had to sacrifice for me to be in this position. People gave up their freedoms, the privileges they had, some even gave up their lives. So I don’t take this position lightly, because when this University was founded, Sam and I wouldn’t even be running together, but we’ve come so far now to even have a Mr and Miss Ebony. And I’m so proud. I don’t know if I’m surprised, but like I said, I’m honored.
Overall just tell me how you’re feeling right now.
D: It’s starting to become a reality. I felt just awe the first 24 hours or so, but now the responsibility aspect is sinking in. I’ve been involved in some really productive meetings so far, and I’m so excited about the future of the organization and the University.
Photo Courtesy of David Thompson