A large part of my elementary, middle school, and college experience centered around being involved in some sort of Student Government. Whether it was Student Council or Student Government Association, I have always had a passion for utilizing my voice to create impactful change wherever I go.
This past year, I have served on the Student Government Association cabinet as the Speaker Pro Tempore and Director of Internal Affairs. This semester I ran a successful campaign and will be the Student Body President for the 2021-2022 school year which still is CRAZY exciting to say.
It is interesting to think about when I started my journey in Student Government and where I am now. There have been so many lessons I have learned that have helped me grow and develop into the leader and person that I am.
The greatest part of it all is that it encourages me to continue growing. To top it all off, these skills are things that can’t always be learned in the classroom. So here are five reasons why my involvement in Student Government changed my life!
#1- Student Government helped me find my voice.
Finding your voice can mean different things to different individuals. There are so many things we see around us in our world that seem unjust. Sometimes they affect us, sometimes they don’t. However, being in Student Government taught me the importance of using my voice to not only advocate for me, but for the entire student body as well.
It is really important as humans to recognize that sometimes decisions you make may not always affect you, but they can harm others, so it is important to think inclusively and equitably. Student Government was the perfect avenue to teach me how to use my voice for myself and others.
#2-Student Government made me more aware.
With using my voice for myself and others, it made me realize it is super important to be aware of issues happening around the world. Even if they are issues that don’t really affect me, they can affect other students. Knowing what is going on around you makes you a better campus citizen and can give you a better idea of how your voice fits into pressing issues.
#3-Student Government taught me what leadership REALLY is.
Student Government taught me that leadership isn’t just about being in charge. Leadership is about so much more. When I think of leadership, I think of growth. Growth in not only myself but helping others grow as well. I think of making a difference.
I think of listening more than speaking to ensure we are meeting the needs of the student body. I think of delegating responsibilities so you are not the only taking on everything. An Ethical Leader, which is part of one of Missouri State’s Public Affairs Pillars, leads for the group. Not for themselves!
#4-Student Government gave me lifelong friends.
This part is self explanatory, but while making impactful change, I have also made some of the greatest friends. I will cherish our friendships forever! It is also great for networking as well!
#5-Student Government helped me find my true passion.
In working with administrators and other student leaders, I have found a passion in Student Affairs in Higher Education and Higher Education Administration. Therefore, I plan to apply to graduate school to get my masters in Student Affairs. I want to help students from all walks of life and make impactful changes on college campuses for my full-time future career. I would have not found this passion if it weren’t for my time in Student Government.
Overall, Student Government changed my life for the better, and I am so thankful. Student Government is the only governing voice of the Student Body at Missouri State. We make impacts that reach the entire student body, which is a big responsibility, but an incredible gift.
I encourage every single student to either get involved with Student Government in some capacity, or to be cognizant and aware of what Student Government is doing for students on campus. For more information on what Student Government is or how you can get involved, feel free to visit: https://sga.missouristate.edu/ or our social media which is @mostatesga on Instagram and Twitter!
I can’t wait to create impactful change next year and I am SO excited to see you all in the fall! GO BEARS!!
(submitted by Michael Chapman (he/him/his); Missouri State University Junior | B.S. Public Relations; Orientation and Transition Programs | Orientation Assistant; Student Government Association | Speaker Pro Tempore; incoming Student Body President| Beartones | Secretary; Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity)