The Student Government Association Student Body President Christopher Clemente and Vice President Rachel Altfield have a Knight Vision for 2016-17.
Born and raised in Tampa, Clemente is a double major in political science and history with a minor in philosophy. He has described his involvement at UCF as a confidence builder and because of that, his goal came into sight to run for Student Body president. He says LEAD Scholars taught him to strive to be a servant leader, to lead from behind, to support and empower others to achieve their goals. For the past four years, Clemente has served on SGA. He was on the President’s Leadership Council and served on the Knight-Thon. He feels integrity is the most important of the UCF Creed tenets. “Being a knight, you must have integrity . . . that is the foundation that knights should build upon.”
Altfield, a Miami native, is majoring in hospitality management. She is proud to say that she developed her leadership skills here at UCF by her involvement with Greek life and serving three years on Knight-Thon. She also served on the Student Body Senate where she was able to make a great impact on students. Taking advantage of UCF’s opportunities, her campus leadership experience has made her understand that she could “do more.” Fellow students saw Altfield’s potential to represent the student body and encouraged her to run as vice president.
They have worked together on multiple occasions and they have become a dynamic duo. They articulate immensely on how delegating and allowing students to become empowered is very important because that had helped them to be where they are now.
Clemente says his strengths are recognizing other’s strengths which results with an effective team and his ability to speak well in public. His weakness is turning off the office work when he clocks out and to focus on his personal life and academics. Altfield says her strengths are perseverance to not give up on yourself and her passion for the university and to give back more. Her weakness is time management and procrastination.
Clemente-Altfield will be handling a budget of $18.6 million that will be distributed to different student organizations and initiatives for the year. Only a fraction of that funding will go to the Knight Vision’s campaign goals.
One major safety project they will be working on is collaborating with Uber to have reduced prices for UCF students. This will help students get around at hours that the scheduled UCF shuttles do not operate. Altfield is specifically passionate about this platform because she received the greatest response from students about it.
Clemente on the other hand finds himself captivated by establishing the SGA President’s Advisory Council. This will be the first of its kind at UCF. The council will serve to improve SGA’s transparency and formalize communication with students. He feels that other institutions will initiate a council just as UCF was a pioneer in the Knights Helping Knights Pantry among the Florida universities.
Some items on Clemente-Altfield Knight’s Vision include to:
- Open a gender neutral bathroom in the Student Union (1st floor across the Pegasus Ballroom)
- Provide temporary water fountains during tailgating events
- Expand poncho distributions to all Activity and Service Fee buildings (Recreation and Wellness Center, SU, All Knight Study)
- Open a Police Station in the SU to increase student and community engagement as well as to increase the SEPS (Student Escort Patrol Service) program
- Install green walls in the SU
- Increase brain food and expand to lunches twice a month, pending on the budget
- Increase installation of security cameras in parking garages
- Create an option to have the SGA website available in Spanish
- Create a “Serenity Room” for students of all faiths and creeds
SDES News asked what advice can you offer incoming freshmen?
Clemente said, “No matter what you do today or tomorrow, you will always regret not doing enough yesterday. Minimize that as much as possible . . . do everything you can. Nobody is going to do it for you, you have to do it yourself. You only get more involved by being involved.” When he talks at Orientation to incoming students, he advises them to seize the opportunities available at UCF. Clemente plans to attend law school next year and then teach college or high school students.
“Reach for the stars!” says Altfield. “Make the most of your college experience. . . Getting involved here has made the campus smaller. I can walk in the Student Union and see someone I know, and automatically feel comfortable. That is what makes this experience that much greater. Just in this past year, I have gotten to know more UCF administration like Vice President Maribeth Ehasz [Student Development and Enrollment Services] by attending events, and it really changes a lot including what I will be doing in the future.” Through this inspiration, Altfield plans to work higher education administration.