Q&A with Student Government President Issy Rushton
By Caleigh McDaniel, firstname.lastname@example.org
As the coronavirus threatens health and upends daily life, members of the UofSC community are rising to the challenge with a spirit of resilience and concern for others.
Due to COVID-19 and campus's closure, Australia native Issy Rushton is fulfilling her student body president duties from across the globe. We caught up with Rushton to see what life is like starting her new position remotely during a global pandemic.
How did you come to the decision that it would be best to go home to Australia?
After talking with my family, friends and faculty I reached the decision that it was best for me to return home. In this uncertain time it was important for me to be with my family in an environment I knew I would be safe and have all the resources I needed. I knew that even if I went home I would still be able to fulfill my duties not only as a newly elected student body president but as a student as well.
In what ways is Student Government continuing to work while campus is closed?
Even during these unprecedented times, students involved in Student Government have certainly stepped up to the challenge. We have been meeting with each other to create and plan our goals for the year. We are working to ensure students have all of the resources they need to succeed in their classes since the university made the switch to online learning. I have been meeting with administrators to ensure the student voice is still heard and always involved in the conversation. I am working to build an administration that will help achieve all of the goals I originally set during my campaign to make sure that when students can return to campus, we can create an even greater Carolina.
What are your goals for this work-from-home period?
As the student body president, I have made it a goal to ensure I am still open and accessible to students during this unprecedented time. Even though things are changing, I think the student body president now more than ever has to be an advocate and representative of the student voice and the best way to do that is to reach out and listen. Personally, I am training for a half marathon, which has been a goal of mine for a long time, a new challenge for me to overcome during this new uncertain time.
What has it been like fulfilling your Student Government duties and navigating coursework with such a large time difference?
The time difference has definitely been a challenge. Meetings and calls have been at unusual hours for sure. However, I am still so thankful to have been given this opportunity and I am so grateful to be able to be a part of meetings that allow me to learn and speak on behalf of the student voice. I truly couldn’t do it without my fellow Student Government members who have also been working around the clock and doing everything they can to get the work done despite the time difference and online platforms.
I want the students to remember that no matter where they are or how long this may last, the Gamecock Family will always be there to support them.
Issy Rushton, student body president
Do you have any advice for the students during these times of social isolation?
I want the students to remember that no matter where they are or how long this may last, the Gamecock family will always be there to support them. I want students to share their thoughts and concerns as I am always willing to listen and learn. One thing during this time that has been especially helpful to me has been to try to keep a routine. Also, to try to learn something new, even if it’s small. For me, it has been learning how to brew my own cold-brew coffee. Just small things to keep going and to remind you to keep your head up.
As students, this is a hard time, there is no denying that. We must remember to take care of ourselves, our friends and family. We will all be together soon, whether it’s cheering at Willy B or just relaxing on the Horseshoe. The Gamecock community is always there for you. Stay Safe. Stay Home. And Forever to Thee.
Find more stories about how students, faculty and staff are rising to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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