UNF Student Body President DuPilka’s last day

Alex Del Dago, Government Reporter

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In her final days of packing, preparing transition binders, and saying goodbyes, Spinnaker got the chance to sit down with Jenna DuPilka one last time and ask about her time as a student at UNF and role as Student Body President.

Arriving for the first time on UNF’s campus in the spring semester of 2016, Jenna DuPilka knew right away she wanted to become a core part of what went on at UNF. She devised a plan of what she wanted to get involved in and started taking the steps to what would eventually lead her to being the UNF Student Body President.

Within a year of being on campus, Jenna ran for a senate seat to get in on the ground floor of what Student Government did. That summer, Jenna got to work as an intern in Washington D.C, where she honed in on her confidence. When she returned to UNF that fall, people started to approach her about running for Student Body President. It was at this moment that DuPilka realized students wanted her representing them and working on their behalf on issues and topics that mattered to them.

The following spring semester, Jenna decided to dip her toes into the student body presidential race and started building her campaign and team. She knew right off the bat that Maria Bermudez needed to be her VP.

“She was the only other senator who spoke up as much as I did,” DuPilka said. After a few weeks of campaigning, UNF students voted the DuPilka-Bermudez administration into office.

When asked about her biggest accomplishment while in office, without hesitation, DuPilka said it had to be the Syllabus Bank project. With the initial idea first being brought up 10 years ago and constantly being dropped and picked back up again, Jenna set aside the time to work on it and truly dedicated herself to making it complete.

Jenna believes that another  big accomplishment of her administration was the success in initiatives that targeted women. She saw issues related to women on campus not being addressed and wanted to help make women feel more a part of the university.

When asked about what she would have liked to also see accomplished if she had more time in office, DuPilka stated  “I do wish that school spirit was still a little more high.” However, she believes that this will continue to be worked on under future administrations.

The pressures of being both a student and Student Body president is what Jenna believes the hardest part of being president was. Losing friends and being attacked via SG social media for not bringing tailgates back are just some of the things Jenna has faced as a result of her position. Always being viewed as Student Body President, even in social settings, is something that was also hard for Jenna. Feeling pressure to the point where she felt she couldn’t even go out anymore because of people thinking she was the sole face behind the tailgating ban, even though she personally didn’t support the ban, is something that was hard for her to deal with during her time in office.

Being approachable and completing initiatives that mattered to the students are just some of the things Jenna hopes students remember her by as their Student Body President, along with the big initiatives she got done while in office such as improving Library WiFi and the Drink-Safe Awareness Campaign.

When it comes to what Jenna will miss most about being a UNF student, she stated that she’ll miss the nature trails, hanging out in the library with friends, Market Days and hanging out on the green the most.

“I’m going to miss going to meetings and knowing that everyone there is student-centered. I’m going to miss waking up with a purpose and knowing what I have to do today and that it’s going to be a good day” is just some of what Jenna says she will also miss most about being UNF Student Body President.

In Spinnaker’s closing moments with Jenna, we asked her about her plans for the future post-UNF. Jenna plans to apply to Jacksonville law firms, take a year off to study for the LSAT, and eventually apply to law schools across the country and work towards an MBA.

Jenna’s last official day in office is Friday, April 12.

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