By James El-Mallakh–
Student Government Association President Kurtis Frizzell will be graduating this year with a degree in political science and a minor in social change. Frizzell took office last year after beating out presidential candidates John Weber and Travis Gault. He has since overseen a number of developments at the University of Louisville.
Some of these achievements these include implementing university mobile, a texting service, along with overseeing the Senates’ resolution of support for the expansion of Greek row. He also oversaw the Senates’ resolution to not support the sale of the SAC fitness center to U of L Athletics.
He has also been engaged with initiatives that span over several administrations such as eliminating the diploma fee and continuing the project of the upcoming student recreation center which will begin construction in early May.
Frizzell will be taking a year off of school but is considering law school. He will be succeeded by incoming president, Justin Brandt.
The Louisville Cardinal conducted an entrance interview with Frizzell after he first took office one year ago. Now, at the end of his term, The Cardinal joins Frizzell once again to reflect on his service as Student Body President.
Q: Name some of your greatest successes as SGA President.
A: The greatest successes I’d say definitely the diploma fee. Getting rid of the diploma fee saved students $85,000 a year on this campus. Another great success was our bill in Frankfort [the College Affordability Resolution]. We’re the first SGA that’s ever done that. I think the other great success we’ve had is all the new programming, whether it’s the K-help or tax service or the president’s council or starting the building our nest.”
Q: What have been some of your greatest failures as SGA President?
A: I think we’ve had two failures in SGA this year. The first one was since we had to start a lot of new programs. Some of them weren’t as successful as we’d hoped: the president’s council, we had maybe ten members show up regularly. That’s supposed to be a body of 300 RSOs. Obviously, we got to talk to all of them in the beginning, but it kind of dwindled over the year. The other one is I wish that SGA had a little more messaging to students than we do.
Unfortunately, since we are a subsection of the university, we have to abide by university policies. That’s always going to be a failure for SGA until we completely have control over messaging to students.
Q: Looking back on your administration, what would you have done differently?
A: Looking back, I would have approached a couple things differently. One, I would have tried to utilize the Board of Trustees a little bit more. I didn’t utilize it as much as some of the past presidents. I wish I would have made a little more connections with the Board of Trustees and helped them see a lot of what SGA does. The only other thing I would have approached differently is staff. I think there were some areas where we needed some other types of [SGA] staff members and I think there were areas that maybe didn’t have enough work for certain staff members as well.
Q: Is there anything that Justin [Brandt] is working on that you’re passing on?
A: He’s going to continue a lot of things, but he’s also got his own agenda as well and I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of the things he wants to do. He’s different than me in a way that he focuses on some of the details a little more than what I did, so he’s going to be focused on things like more outlets in the library, some of the smaller things that students have asked for and requested, whereas I’ve been focused on dealing with Frankfort, decisions about the SAC and those kinds of things. We’re different but he’ll make a great president.
Photo courtesy Austin Silvero/Student Government Association