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Former SGA President Reflections

Today, I chatted with Ganesh Mysore, former SGA president and senior chemical engineering and political science double major.

What was the biggest perk, in your opinion, of being the student body president?

I could say that connections that I made, both with administrators and fellow students, were the biggest perk. I gave opportunities to students, such as the Global Medical Brigade, so they could get involved with SGA and I became friends with them. Meeting so many new people as a senior was an awesome experience. Seeing tangible changes since the beginning of my administration has been awesome, such as the addition of a fourth newspaper. I also loved the office, huge perk.

If you had unlimited funding, what would you have done for our campus?

Parking is an easy answer. Having been a commuter for an entire year and having come to campus at all hours of the day, I haven’t personally had a problem with parking. One thing I think that students take for granted is the quality of food on campus. But I think more dining options rivaling Cornell or Virginia Tech would improve the student experience, allowing them to eat more healthily. Also, more money into both recreational and competitive athletics would be great. It would help students be healthier overall and have more school spirit that way.

If you could, would you run for pesident again? Why or why not?

I could have and I didn’t. I had the opportunity to run again at the end of last year and chose not to. For four years, I was involved with SGA and used that time to do amazing, positive things and helped other students to do the same. Staying president for another year would’ve limited other students with other ideas, and so I chose not to. More importantly, it was a personal choice for me. As a super senior graduating with a double major, it allows me to explore other professional opportunities. Now that I was president once, I feel like I can still have a large impact on campus.

What is one issue that you tried to address in your service as the student body president? Explain what you did and what your end goal was.

In a word, arts. Improving the patronage of the arts from students of all disciplines. Creating a program or incentive for students who would otherwise choose not to see a musical, play, live music or even the pep band. The end goal was to increase attendance at the events. I don’t believe we were successful, but we did secure $50,000 total of funding for the next five years that is devoted to arts-related programming. Every poll and all of the outreach we did supported this venture. Bolstering support for arts, especially arts done by UMBC students, is a great goal. It’s been an issue because the funding has not been used since the current SGA administration has not made it a high-priority. Getting this implemented is unfortunately not within my power.

Do you ever plan to pursue political office after leaving UMBC? If so, what lessons have you learned while running for political office here?

I don’t know if I do. It’s not in the cards right now. I may change my mind. What I’ve learned is people who believe in you will go to great lengths to see you achieve that office. You have the paramount responsibility to those people who work hard for you and who elected you. Your integrity is a responsibility to the people who fought for you, not just to yourself. If I found myself in another election, I would hold that lesson dear.

Did you appreciate the news about you that was in last year’s April Fool’s edition of the Retriever Weekly?

Yeah, I did. Now, I have crippling body image issues and I know what I want to look like after I leave the gym. Hilarious. I laughed hard.