Amged Eidelsafy is president of the University of Michigan-Flint Student Government. He discusses advice for his fellow students, the university culture, and more in this interview with UM-Flint staff writer Robert Gold.
What is your advice for students at University of Michigan-Flint?
Attend class and ask for help is my best advice for incoming students. If class gets too difficult speak to your professor, they are not here to fail you. They are here to provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to be successful in your field. The faculty, staff, and administrators care about you and they are here to help you every step of the way. There will be a culture change for many of you, while some may be able to adjust right away others won't be able to. That's OKAY. If you are having a difficult time adjusting, you don't need to do it alone. There are multiple resources on campus here to help you. Let me say that again you are NOT ALONE, joining this campus is the first step in becoming part of the UM-Flint family.
What are the goals for Student Government this year?
This year we have five major platforms and they are as follows: raise awareness on sexual assault, address higher education, become a diverse & inclusive campus, address mental health issues, and become a more eco-friendly campus.
What should students know about student government and how it pertains to their college careers?
Student government is the best. It provides students with an actual job and gives them tangible skills for the workforce. Personally it's taught me professional development, leadership skills, and so much more. We are here to advocate on behalf of the students and serve as the liaison between the student body and the administration. Our job is to implement programs that promote student success and a big portion of what we do is allocate funds to student organizations. Students seem to remember us most for our free food and t-shirts.
Since you started at UM-Flint, has anything surprised you about the campus and experience? If so, what?
I am surprised by the fulfillment I feel from engaging in student organizations. It gives me a purpose beyond the GPA which brings the campus to life and worth caring about. Being a part of Student Government, I am able to see how the university operates and have been privileged to make relationships with administrators. In my eyes, they are no longer the people who keep raising tuition, rather mentors who provide me with guidance and direction. I have been able to break down the idea of Us vs. Them when it's really We and see how do WE move forward as a community.
Students at UM-Flint come from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures and personal histories. What should students know about the culture and community at this university?
We have students of all ethnicities, races, religions, genders, ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, and most importantly students with all different perspectives. Students on this campus can expect to learn and discover new things. Students should come with an open mind and prepared to be captivated by what we have to offer. They will be challenged all while being amazed by the scholars on this campus. The university is committed to making the campus diverse and inclusive. The Intercultural Center is a safe, open space for all students to have conversations on critical issues they face everyday. This year we have international students from over 50 countries and the program is only going to grow. The international center offers a variety of study abroad opportunities to students to enrich their education and global experience. Being a part of the UM system is great, but being part of the University of Michigan-Flint is the best since we are located in the heart of the city which enables such a dynamic relationship between the university and the rich community.