“We are here to make a difference in the lives of the students we serve,” VP Murry tells senators

Mallory Pace and Carter Mudgett

“We are here to make a difference in the lives of the students we serve,” University of North Florida Student Government Vice President Joshua Murry told senators during their regular Senate meeting on Friday. 

Taking a moment during his usual update for the Senate, VP Murry reiterated Student Advocate Jacqueline Small’s message from the last Senate meeting. 

Two weeks ago, Student Advocate Small spoke about her concerns for SG regarding each senator’s duty. Each SG member’s first goal should be to work together to make things happen for the UNF student body, she explained.

“Change the narrative of SG and let’s work together to make things happen,” Small said at the last meeting.

Nathaniel Rodefer and Joshua Murry being sworn in by Chief Justice Travis Ford on April 15, 2022.
Nathaniel Rodefer (right) and Joshua Murry (left) were sworn in as Student Body President and Student Body Vice President, respectively, on April 15, 2022. (Julia Croston)

On Friday, Murry addressed the Senate Chamber and said he felt the need to speak out about the concerns and displeasures he has experienced. 

He specifically noted the lack of respect in decorum he has experienced within the Senate Chambers, reminding all audiences — both members and non-members of SG — that the chambers are built around respect.

Treasurer Michael Barcal also took a moment from his presentation to further emphasize Student Advocate Small’s thoughts and expressed his support for her message.

Serving students

Lt. General Richard Tryon from the Senior Fellow for Leadership at UNF’s Hicks Honors College also attended the meeting as a guest speaker. 

He addressed the senators, thanking them for their service and participation with SG to serve the student body. His presentation focused on authority and authenticity within leadership positions. 

Reminding senators of the oath each took at the beginning of their term, he told them to remember that, as members of SG, they have a responsibility to their fellow students. 

As midterms rapidly approach and senators are reaching the halfway mark within their positions, General Tryon suggested senators reflect on their time and experience with SG and ask themselves what they have or wish to accomplish, as well as how they wish to be remembered from UNF’s SG after their time has ended.

Student Government banner
Student Government Banner (Justin Nedrow)

Within that reflection, General Tryon asked senators to consider how they are interacting with each other and other branches of SG and explained that authenticity requires looking at the big picture and checking egos at the door.

Asked about how to navigate disagreements within leadership positions and teamwork efforts, General Tryon suggested a compromise. He said that success comes when both parties leave dissatisfied, yet the agreement is in the best interest of the majority of the public.

General updates

Student Body President Nathaniel Rodefer explained plans to host a Mental Health Awareness Week in October and is working to collaborate with UNF departments like Athletics, the Counseling Center, the Interfaith Center and more. 

Lend-A-Wing (LAW) Director Jalen Echenique gave the September report that found a drastic increase in the number of students visiting LAW that they also expect to continue to grow. There were 1,063 visits from students in September and LAW spent $4,145 on groceries.

 Lend-A-Fit, a department under LAW that provides student outfits for professional situations like job interviews, has also experienced an increase as September saw 22 students request appointments for Lend-A-Fit.


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