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Student Government president gives new division high marks

The newly created Student Success and Enrollment Management (SS&EM) section is a game-changer, simple and straightforward. And while it was a complex process, the differences all boil down to two words common to all stakeholders – extended awareness.

Ask Alyssa Fleischer (22, Legal Studies). As head of student government, Fleischer puts her finger on the pulse of things at FGCU and clearly sees how SS&EM has breathed new life into past practices and created new policies and procedures that pave the way for a new day at FGCU.

Alyssa Fleischer, Student Government President

Fleischer’s journey of being involved began, almost by accident, with student government. “When I first came to university, students were more likely to engage in an activity if a student they knew introduced them to it,” she said. In Fleischer’s case, it was her resident advisor who suggested that she engage in student government. That was three years ago, the same time SS&EM was paying off and starting to adjust its focus on student success.

“Now, in contrast to my early involvement in student government, I’ve noticed that new faces come from diverse groups on campus, not necessarily all friends of friends,” she said. “Everything seems to be done more pragmatically with administrators and staff interacting with students more and more.”

Brian Fisher is the Associate Vice President of Student Engagement and leads responsibility for student engagement in all aspects of campus life. “It had a huge impact on the career path of a student’s success,” Fleischer said. “It helped me shape the leader I am today.” So did Lindsey Jones, assistant dean of students. “Lindsey helped create the person I am today.”

The challenges that new students face in their transition from high school to college are well documented. However, Fleischer notes that this year’s sophomores — who have spent their first year online because of the pandemic — face the same challenges as the freshman. Referring to the student leadership, staff and administrators, she said, “We need to treat these students with a little mercy. We will all have to work with them to help them transition to the rigors of college.”

Fleischer credits the changes on campus not only to organizational adjustment within the university, but also to increased communication by staff as a result. She cited scheduling as one effective strategy that reaches more students than ever before. “What you see is that anywhere on the campus, or the student union, or in the library garden, wherever,” Fleischer said, “the faculty have set up tables with brochures and free flyers and basically invite students to learn about a club or organization or available sources. It’s an easy sale, and whether students approach the schedule for free information or handouts, scheduling is outreach worth the effort, Fleischer said.

When it comes to managing enrollment, Fleischer said the ease with which students can access financial aid and scholarship information has greatly improved. “This may seem like a small thing, but small connections make a big difference,” she said. “Having both offices side by side is a welcome improvement.”

Academic counseling is another area where Fleischer sees improvements, citing greater access to counselors as an important example. “In my case, I entered college knowing legal studies was my goal, but how to get where I wanted to be wasn’t entirely clear to me.”

In the second year, students are reassigned an advisor based on their specific major. “The legal studies advisor sat down with me to show me exactly how to do what I wanted to do. She gave me the names of professors who still practice law and run clinics. She helped me figure out how to take advantage of the resources that the university provides, and most importantly, how I could graduate in four years” .

Alyssa Fleischer is straightforward when it comes to the female circumcision journey “I always say I bleed green and blue. I love being an ambassador for a university; I love serving students. Everything here has meaning to me. FGM is the best decision I have ever made. Wherever life takes me, I will owe a lot to the FGCU, and specifically to all of the people, including my mentors and fellow students.”

Tags: student government FGCU, legal studies

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