Jonathan Fuller, a junior nursing student, was recently elected the 2018-2019 Student Government Association president.
The election turned out 3,125 students, almost 16 percent of the student body. Click here for a full report of the results and to see winners of other leadership positions such as student body executive vice president, academic vice president and services vice president.
Fuller, who is from Cadiz, Kentucky, is a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, a raiseRED team leader and a member of the Student Orientation Staff.
UofLNews had the chance to talk to Fuller about his interests and goals as SGA president.
UofLNews: Why did you choose to attend the University of Louisville?
Fuller: I had lived in the same small town since I was born. So, when I was looking at colleges I was looking to get away and into the city. I visited UofL on a school visit and immediately fell in love with the campus and its atmosphere. Coming from a small town I really liked how UofL had the big school name, but the campus wasn’t too big. I immediately sensed a small town vibe when I was touring the campus. I enjoyed that it was in the city, but the campus didn’t feel like it was in the city. I primarily chose to come to UofL because of the campus and the community atmosphere that I experienced while on the tour.
UofLNews: What’s your favorite thing about UofL?
Fuller: My favorite thing about UofL is how diverse the campus is. Coming from a small town, there weren’t many people who were different from myself. By coming to UofL I have been exposed to so many different people and cultures. I have loved the opportunity to learn about cultures different from my own. I am thankful for attending a university that appreciates everyone’s differences and promotes an atmosphere where everyone is accepted.
UofLNews: How long have you been involved in SGA and what has that role entailed?
Fuller: I have been involved in SGA since my freshman year. I was first involved in the programming branch of SGA on the Student Activities Board. In the spring semester of my freshman year, I was selected as the vice chair of the engaging issues committee on SAB. I then moved on to be the chair of the engaging issues committee on SAB my sophomore year. I was able to plan educational events for students that ranged from a presidential debate watch to an event talking about being vegan and vegetarian. I was elected the Academic Vice President at the end of my sophomore year and am currently finishing out my term.
UofLNews: What made you pursue this leadership role in the organization?
Fuller: While on the Student Activities Board I enjoyed going out and talking to students to see what kind of events they would like to see on campus. I decided that I wanted to use my voice in a different way and advocate for changes on campus. Sophomore year I decided to run for SGA so I could do just that. I have enjoyed my time as the Academic Vice President and wanted to further use my voice to advocate on behalf of students as the Student Body President and Board of Trustee Member, so I decided to run.
UofLNews: What are your biggest goals as SGA president?
Fuller: As president I would like to develop the SGA 2030 plan, tackle retention issues, improve campus life and improve SGA transparency.
UofLNews: What do you think will be your biggest challenges serving in this role? Your biggest rewards?
I think one of my biggest challenges will be balancing my schedule as an HSC student and my role as the president. I often spend a lot of my time on HSC and in different clinical sites, so I will have to find a balance between the two. I think my biggest reward will be getting to be a voice for students. Regardless of the topic or issue, I believe that the student voice is the most important. It is rewarding to know that I am serving on behalf of 22,000 students and that I will get to give student input into so many things.
UofLNews: How would you describe your leadership style?
Fuller: I would describe my leadership style as a mix between servant, transformational and democratic leadership. As I said earlier, I serve on behalf of 22,000 or so students. I didn’t run for myself, I ran for the students that I represent. I try to listen to everyone around me and make the best decision given certain situations. In SGA you have a team around you and I will utilize my team to get input, bounce ideas and ask for feedback when determining a solution for a problem. I also find that I like to motivate people and push them to do their best work. I think this will be useful in the SGA team dynamic.
UofLNews: When your time as president comes to an end, what do you hope your legacy will be?
Fuller: I hope that I will have utilized students to achieve the things I have set forward. I hope that my administration will develop the best 2030 plan that guides future SGAs toward university growth and a vibrant campus life. I ultimately hope that students feel that SGA listens to them and acts on their behalf.