by Abby Richards

Since returning to campus, many have had to reintroduce themselves to their classmates. This may be daunting since many of us have been on campus before and met classmates or friends before the pandemic. However, Sydney Johnson is someone everyone should get to know. 

Johnson is breaking barriers as our newly-elected SGA president. They are the first Black and non-binary person to hold the position of President in the Student Governmnet Association, an organization on all three Rutgers campuses that represents student voices. Johnson is a senior who majors in both theater and history while also minoring in political science. Outside of school, they are a chair member of the Black Lives Matter Coalition for the state of New Jersey, volunteer with an urban progress lab, and participate in theater productions in Philadelphia. 

Now the longest-serving current SGA member, Johnson joined as a Senator for the School of Arts and Sciences, then joined the organization’s E-board and became secretary, and was elected president at the end of the 2021 spring semester. As the serving President, Johnson wants to make changes to benefit the student body and their needs. Something Johnson wants to bring to the forefront of campus is to embrace the wide diversity in student ethnicities of the Camden campusand be as transparent with the student body about issues and policies that affect them. Johnson doesn’t want the student body to be kept in the dark about what is going on throughout the university and campus. 

A new priority for the SGA is dealing with now is transitioning back to campus. This issue includes problems dealing with parking, the early closing of the gym, and renovations in Armitage Hall. 

Coming from Kinnelon, New Jersey, and starting college life in a new area, Johnson figured out how to get involved as a new student. Johnson also encouraged other students to get involved as well because being at home for a year and a half made coming to campus more difficult for people. Socialization is something Johnson campaigned for because participating in an organization is a shared interest students can  help students form friendships. 

As the new president of the SGA, Johnson wants students to know that they can come to them with whatever issue they have. The SGA organization is here to help students and will try to fulfill all students’ needs by having an open forum at their town halls and meetings, available  for communication via email, and host surveys for students to complete. 

Although Johnson is a senior this year, they want to be remembered as the SGA president who fought for the students’ needs. Johnson wants the student body to have the best possible experience on the Rutgers-Camden campus. They know the job will require a lot of work, but they’re ready for the challenge.