Vice President of Student Affairs discusses her passion for SGA and SRU

Published by , Author: Joshua Kellem - Rocket Contributor, Date: March 2, 2017
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Abby Fugh, vice president of student and academic affairs, is your first line of defense when it comes to issues concerning safety concerns and academic issues.

“We do facilitate an annual student life survey, so that goes out to all the students on campus and you have the chance to win a free parking pass, a free semester of books, things like that,” Fugh said. “And that kind of gauges our agenda for the next year.”

Fugh, a Butler native, said she didn’t want to go to SRU because her mom did, but spontaneously changed her mind.

“One day I came home from school and I was like, ‘I’m going to go to Slippery Rock,'” Fugh said.

As a freshman, Fugh changed her major to declare herself a marketing and management major with a minor in information systems.

“I originally came and I was healthcare administration, and I had an internship this summer at a nursing home in Butler,” Fugh said. “At the same time, I was doing orientations for SGA.

Fugh said if you’re passionate about something, it’s easy to talk about and she realized her passion for SGA while doing orientations.

“I realized, in that moment, this is what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” Fugh said.

Also as a freshman, Fugh almost transferred, but being involved with the alternative break program on campus, Fugh travelled to a community in need in Jamaica to give back and decided not to transfer after all.

“I tried to transfer,” Fugh said. “I went on a care break to Jamaica, and I met some really pivotal people in my life that kind of shaped who I was going to become.”

Fugh is also a member of the First-Year Leader Scholar Program (FLSP) where she was the recipient of a Board of Governors scholarship.

“I had to give a 45-minute presentation on how I would revamp the program,” Fugh said. “It was a Friday at 1:03 p.m. that I got the phone call that I had been awarded the scholarship. Because of that, it opened a lot of doors for me. It gave me the confidence to apply for SGA.”

Ironically, Fugh still finds herself in debt.

“With the free tuition, I take student loans out to travel,” Fugh said. “I’ve spent some time in London; I’m going to Italy [for spring break]. One day, around this time last year, I got on my computer one day, and searched study abroad through the university.”

Fugh said London was the best month of her life and travelling in general has made her open-minded in her life and work.

“I am a firm believer in hands-on learning, stepping out of your comfort zone and being culturally aware,” Fugh said.

Fugh is also part of the honors program.

“With the honors program, part of it is a lot of community service involvement,” Fugh said. “I love seeing first-hand benefits of things, volunteering and stuff like that.”

While Fugh isn’t pursuing a government career as a marketing major, Fugh occupies a rare space where her position applies directly to her major.

“Once I graduate here, I do plan on going into a graduate school for a student affairs position,” Fugh said.  “Eventually, I want to work my way up into a leadership role in an office like the Suite, and work my way up to a VP of Student Affairs in Administration.”

In fact, Fugh is currently looking up summer internships.

“Essentially, what I would be doing is working in Resident Life this summer or at orientation, which are both obviously sublets of student affairs,” Fugh said.

After joining SGA, Fugh had to work her way up to the executive board, pushing herself to be the best she could be as a senator.

“I was a commuter senator before,” Fugh said. “For me, [the difference] is seeing potential in other students and trying to educate them to become the best that they can be.”

Now, Fugh said she finds herself pushing her committee to see if they can have a role on the e-board.

“We meet once a week and mine are on Mondays at 7:45 p.m. in room 324 in the student center,” Fugh said.

During meetings, Fugh addresses student concerns her committee members have heard, and if the concern is common, the specific person is contacted.

“I like to start my meetings off saying ‘have you, anyone on my committee, heard about a student concern this week?'” Fugh said.

Also, Fugh and her committee brainstorm ways to enhance student life.

“We came up with this idea called Rock Olympiad and it will be held Saturday, April 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the intramural practice field, and it’s going to be a field day so it will be fun events,” Fugh said.  “It will just be a celebration of the end of the year.”

SGA, as a whole, is working on visibility.

“Each senator is going to be required to reach out to a club president on campus of a club or organization that they are not currently involved in,” Fugh said.  “We are currently trying to get a better understanding of what’s going on around campus, and trying to hear different voices speak.”

The future will be the judge to see how well these ideas are implemented.

“I personally think that the work, not just me, but SGA’s doing as a whole is probably my biggest accomplishment,” Fugh said.

Fugh will not be running for re-election this semester, but hopes to rejoin next spring.

“I have been given the opportunity to study abroad next semester,” Fugh said.

Fugh’s dad told her if you love something, you’ll never work a day in your life.

“I feel like I’m playing,” Fugh said.

All in all, Fugh feels she wore her emotions on her sleeve for SRU.

“I know that I want my impact to be that I love this university,” Fugh said. “When I was here, I was here with heart.”

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