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Student Government Members Reflect on a Year of Advocacy and Giving Back

Every fall and spring semester, a new cohort of Columbia’s School of Professional Studies Student Government (SPSSG) representatives is elected by their peers to represent the School’s 18 master's programs as well as the entire student body.

SPSSG representatives serve as advocates for student interests, provide a vital link between SPS students and the administration, and are committed to creating a unified, informed, and engaged community for students across all SPS programs.

During their tenure, Student Government representatives also organize a wide variety of social, cultural, and community-building events throughout the academic year. Among the team’s marquee events is the annual SPS Friendsgiving, a festive dinner and celebration in collaboration with the Dean's Office and the Office of Student Life that raises money for Food Bank for New York City.

Ahead of this year’s graduation, this year’s cohort of SPS Student Government officers shared some of their most meaningful moments and achievements from their tenure at SPSSG.

One of the most amazing aspects of being a part of SPSSG is seeing so many of our representatives on campus. At a school of thousands, in a city of millions, seeing friendly faces in between classes, at events, or in the Office of Student Life always has brought joy to my days.

A significant part of my role in student government involved organizing social events for SPS students. Some of my favorite events included our Spring Picnic, Hybrid Trivia Nights, Halloween Happy Hour, and Friendsgiving. I'm proud of the outcomes of these events, which provided students with an opportunity to connect with peers outside their program and take a break from their studies.

This semester, we hosted our first dinner cruise formal. It was a massive undertaking that I’m proud to be able to have been a small part of. … Because the formal was a particularly massive—and therefore expensive—undertaking, our subcommittees were made to work with much, much more conservative budgets than normally anticipated. I’m very happy to have been a part of a milestone such as the formal, but I’m even prouder to have played a part in leading our organization through a fiscally tough time.

As an online student, I was particularly proud of being actively involved in organizing events even though I didn't have the privilege of being on campus. …  I also initiated online events for students such as Trivia Night and Coffee Time with a world-renowned coffee expert!

The SPS student government worked diligently to plan and execute our first formal event at SPS this year. Part of my contribution to this event was designing the event’s digital flyer and working with our PR Chair to market the event to SPS students. The event was a massive success, and the student government’s role was crucial in making the magic happen.

The end of semester dinners with the rest of the student leaders were especially meaningful to me. Having the opportunity to meet in person with everyone as opposed to our weekly Zoom calls has been a highlight. Many of the members from outside the city attended as well and it's been such a pleasure to see them in person.

Throughout my year-and-a-half journey with SPSSG, the most meaningful experience would be organizing events alongside my SPSSG friends. We organized over 15 events that brought students together and created connections among them. Witnessing these students form friendships brings me immense joy. Reflecting on that time, I also recognize how profoundly it molded my leadership abilities and contributed to my personal growth.