& A with the SGA President
Choi ’11 stepped up to the Student Government Association
(SGA) presidency this year. One of the tasks she has taken
on in her leadership role is coordinating this year’s Rally
Day Show, which replaces the Rally Day Carnival this year,
on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30) in the
Campus Center Carroll Room. The show will feature house presidents
and other student leaders modeling clothing from Smith’s
past while reciting headlines and items from the Sophian and
The Madeleine from the past century-plus.
Choi, a philosophy
and ethics major from Los Angeles, recently responded to
questions for the Gate about her SGA leadership.
have been your top priorities as SGA president?
Jinny Choi ’11
Some of SGA's top priorities this year have been visibility,
getting different organizations to work together, and making
sure students' opinions are heard. We have been working closely
with the Sophian to get some SGA information out to the students.
They have been very helpful with that. We also wanted to
communicate to the administration some of the students' concerns.
We did this through our "walkarounds" where we went out and
asked students what they thought on certain policies or ideas.
Our V.O.T.E.S campaign stood for visibility, opportunity,
tradition, empowerment, and synergy—it's pretty self-explanatory.
We wanted more people to be involved with SGA, directly or
indirectly, and truly see us as a viable resource of support.
Gate: Do you plan to run for
the position again?
JC: Maybe, but I see it more
as the first time I am running since I stepped in for someone
who resigned this year, and I don't see this particular election
as someone winning or losing, but having the student body
pick from a large variety of attributes. I don't want anyone
running unopposed. Everyone should give candidacy a try—why not? Just run, if you think
you can do it. Everyone is capable of being a leader. I hope
many people run this election, and many people vote. It's
important to have a student body that cares about the actions
of their student leaders, especially because SGA is given
so much to work with as far as funding and administrative
How might being SGA president as a junior differ from holding
the position as a senior?
JC: I think
the one perk of having a junior as SGA president is the aspect
of experience. A lot of SGA presidents finally get a feel
for their position, but graduate and end up not doing everything
they wanted to accomplish. My year of experience as a junior
allows me to continue working on all my SGA-related projects
into my senior year. I see this with committees I sit on
that have annual turnover, and there is no institutional
memory. Every year they are starting over, and that wastes
time. Also, I know that senior year can be a tumultuous time
with finding a job, making sure everything is in order, and
enjoying those last memories; I appreciated the unique opportunity
to not worry about those things, and focus on SGA.
Gate: What is the best thing
about being SGA president?
JC: The best thing about being
SGA president...the humility that comes with the territory.
With the constant access to so many Smithies, student organizations,
staff and leaders, I am always impressed by the amount of
passion I see among people here. The student leaders are
hard working, interesting, and undaunted by challenges. I
have worked with so many peers that I am thankful to have
met through this position. They have inspired me with their
opinions, openness, and life paths. Everyone cares about
the future of Smith, the future of the world; I can’t put into words just how many great
people attend and work for this place. I guess I just feel
lucky to have worked with them, and that my alma mater is
in good hands.
Gate: How might
your serving as SGA president serve you in your career?
I think the SGA presidency teaches you to work with a lot
of different kinds of people, and you get a chance to see
how institutional structures are organized—all of
these skills are important in the future. I learned the parameters
of making goals with a group of people, and executing those
goals. I imagine teambuilding will always be a part of any
career since most careers require more than one person to
run the show. Every experience helps you to learn some skill(s),
and we bring that knowledge into the workplace, if not into
Gate: What would be your recommendations
for future SGA presidents?
JC: It’s a whirlwind of work, but it goes
by fast. It is important to know that people are there to
help you out, and it’s very important that you enjoy the
position, and have some fun with it.