Posted on: July 16, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic brought a sudden halt to many of the normal activities that our student organizations at the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy usually conduct during the school year. We wanted to give our student groups the opportunity to highlight their successes from this past year and provide a glimpse of what is being planned for the new school year. We asked Asia Johnson, Class of 2021 and president of the College of Pharmacy Student Government Association, about her group’s accomplishments and future goals.
What were some of the goals that you had for Student Government for the 2019-2020 year?
My main goal for SGA this year was cohesiveness. We all want to help the community and make our college better. Often, organizations would have similar ideas and events that would be semi-successful due to limited resources. I emphasized the impact that we could have if organizations and their members began working together on events throughout the year. I believe that the organization presidents did an incredible job collaborating and we began relying on one another when help was needed. Another goal of mine was creating a service day for the college where we spend an entire day in the community giving back.
What were your accomplishments for the year?
We accomplished a ton this year! We put on our first Back to School BBQ where students within the college came together with faculty and staff in a casual environment. We also put on another successful Phall Ball and Gamecock Pharmacy Expo (Career Fair). We helped welcome President Caslen on his first visit to the College of Pharmacy, where he was thoroughly impressed by our college.
Although they both got cancelled, a phenomenal Spring Banquet was in the works along with the College of Pharmacy's first Service Day. We were teaming up with the School of Medicine to serve our community for a day with a community health fair. Lastly, we are in the midst of working with the dean's office to organize change for the college to further educate students on cultural diversity due to recent events regarding racial injustice.
What do you hope will carry over for the next year?
I hope the cohesive unit and safe space environment within SGA remains. I always loved that we worked as a close team and communicated often on issues that needed resolving throughout the year.
How did you work around COVID-19?
We met virtually a few times and we still communicated via email and phone.
What recommendations/advice do you have for the leaders that will follow you?
- Take a look at the college and your organization and decide what you believe needs to be changed. Find a way to make the college and your organization better than how you received it. Always strive to move forward and not be stagnant.
- Remember that you are now a leader that P1s and P2s look to for guidance. Be that leader that they need and remember they are always watching the way you conduct yourself.
- Know when to ask for help and learn how to delegate. You will completely overwhelm yourself if you do not ask for help. You are still a pharmacy student, so adding leadership can be tough. It's okay to ask for help.
- Find ways to recharge your battery whenever your tank is empty. Times will come when you feel drained. You must find what it is that makes you happy and recharge.
What thoughts would you like to share about your time as a leader in your organization?
Being student body president for the college was an absolute honor! I've grown tremendously as a leader and learned so much about myself in this position. This position gave me the opportunity to help lead the student body in both difficult and joyous times. I want to thank everyone for having me as their student body president.