Developing Interest in Student Government

T. Greg Doucette discusses how he became involved in Student Government as a freshman.

Interview on 2011-10-04


00:00:00.000 I was almost exclusively a student government guy.
00:00:04.490 When I was here for orientation
00:00:07.321 we lived in Bragaw Hall, my grandparents had a hotel room,
00:00:11.121 and there was some kind of play that they did in Talley,
00:00:16.561 talking about what life was like on campus. So we were walking from Bragaw to Talley
00:00:20.860 and my grandparents were going regardless. I was determined to skip
00:00:24.281 because there was this-. Before we had kind of the Cates Crawl all the people set up in the
00:00:30.643 auditorium area of Witherspoon, so I snuck my way in and went to this little student organization area,
00:00:36.866 thinking I was going to join College Republicans, because I was a political activist in high school,
00:00:40.484 so that was my focus. Under no circumstances was I going to do student government.
00:00:44.531 As I'm walking around actually I met Jenny Chang, who was the student body president at the time,
00:00:49.455 and I'm picking up stuff from the different tables and she motions me over to the SG table
00:00:55.952 and I'm like, okay, well what group are you? She goes, "I'm with student government,"
00:00:59.433 and I'm like [Noise of hesitation], "I'm not trying to be rude but I just really have no interest in what y'all are doing."
00:01:06.309 She goes, "Well what do you think we do?" and I gave some kind of idiotic response that in hindsight was really dumb,
00:01:10.484 but she goes, "Okay, well I'll cut you a deal. You don't have to join student government but take this pamphlet for our Wolf Aides program,
00:01:16.788 apply and see what happens." So I'm like, okay, cool, thank you.
00:01:20.008 End up leaving the room and someone makes it a point to me-. One of the other folks in the orientation group goes,
00:01:26.012 "Oh, you realize that was the student body president?" I'm like, "No, I don't know who the student body president is or what they do."
00:01:31.279 He was like, "Yeah, that's the president of the whole campus." I'm like, okay. I really sounded like an idiot.
00:01:34.950 But what ended up happening-. So that was orientation.
00:01:38.375 We move in, I apply to the Wolf Aides program and they end up accepting me as one of their members.
00:01:43.419 Go to a meeting and after that meeting I come back and my RA, a guy named Brian Overington, was actually a student senator,
00:01:52.601 and as I'm coming back from Wolf Aides he was coming back from senate and he was ranting and raving about something they had voted on that night,
00:01:58.127 and I'm intrigued. I'm like, this is politics. This is what I did in high school.
00:02:01.560 He explains to me what's going on and he goes, "You know, you really should think about trying to be one of the freshman senators."
00:02:07.199 Back then we had gotten rid of freshman elections.
00:02:12.380 They voted for freshmen for a time, I guess turn-out kind of fell off, and then for a long period of time they appointed them,
00:02:18.887 so I ended up getting appointed and I was kind of hooked after that. I literally did student government just about every year I was at State.
00:02:27.710 My freshman year I was a student senator, I ran for senate president as a freshman, which is idiotic in hindsight,
00:02:33.809 definitely lost, came in third out of three. Worked for the media sophomore year,
00:02:38.952 worked for the media when I came back in '05, I call that my second sophomore year,
00:02:42.943 then was a student senator again and then spent my last two years as president of the student senate.