Born in Miami to Haitian parents, Jefferson Noel is the current student body president at Biscayne Bay Campus. He is pursuing a master’s degree in Global Strategic Communications with a certificate in Conflict Resolution and Consensus Building.
Noel originally transferred from Valencia College to FIU and became a Worlds Ahead Graduate with a bachelor’s in communication arts. This charismatic-born leader, entrepreneur, public speaker and the self-published author of Powerful Presenting: How to Overcome One of the Nation’s Greatest Fears, has big plans during his presidential term. Noel aspires to empower others to fulfill their destiny.
FIU News recently sat down with Noel to get to know him and his plans as BBC SGA president.
Why did you decide to run for SGA president?
I told myself that I would never run for president unless I felt like I was the best person to do it — and I would actually make a difference.
What is your No. 1 priority for BBC?
My number one goal is for the students to be whole. I want students not only to walk away with a good education, which is automatic when you attend FIU, but also be better citizens, better leaders. We’re starting something called the Leadership Lounge—where the last Wednesday of every month, we invite leaders from different organizations and councils (in BBC), to teach ourselves leadership strategies. It’s open to students as well so we can raise leaders. I think from there, we’ll be able to grow.
What initiatives are you currently working on?
- I’m hyper-focused on ensuring students have better opportunities in terms of internships and jobs. We partnered with Career and Talent Development. They help students create resumes or help fix bad resumes, and student government will then print their resumes for free on resume card stock paper.
- I created a position called Director of Accessibility who will work with the Disability Resource Center throughout the year to ensure that we are understanding their needs. For the first time ever, we are going to have an accessibility walk throughout campus with leadership of the university and the director of the Disability Resource Center. We’re going to walk throughout campus to make it more accessible to students with disabilities.
- We wrote a resolution that passed unanimously to have information on Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Panthers Care on every syllabus. There are a lot of students who may be dealing with food insecurities, or be homeless, or even have a mental illness, so the more they have access to those resources, the better. They’re still working to get that done but hopefully soon.
- We also passed a resolution to have an FIU at I-75 committee. This committee will serve as representative body for I-75 because right now we don’t have an I-75 senator, and I don’t want those students to be without representation. We’re going to have that committee, and we’re going to work hand-in-hand with them.
What do you hope to accomplish during your presidency?
A lot of people don’t become who they want to be not because other people are denying them, but because they are denying themselves. If students could walk with confidence and begin to accept themselves and see themselves as leaders and as someone who can make a difference, then I think I did my job.
How would you like to be remembered in FIU history?
I’d like to be remembered as a leader who influenced a generation of FIU students to believe in themselves and that generation of students went on to become who they were destined to be.