Eight years ago, Brandon Gross wore an orange ‘Vote Yes’ T-shirt to show support for a pricey proposal to centralize student activities. Now, he is assistant director of that actualized proposal, the newly constructed 119,368-square-foot Student Activity Center (SAC).
“I’ve been a part of this from the beginning,” Gross said. “From the vote to now, it’s amazing to see it come to fruition. I know the times change, and the students’ needs as well, but open conversation [with current students] make this center theirs.”
During his time at UM, Gross campaigned to improve campus life for students and was elected Student Government (SG) president his senior year. He graduated in 2009 with a double degree in public relations and sports management.
Originally from New York, Gross accepted a job after graduating with media relations for the New York Jets. However, he returned to UM the following year to receive his master’s degree in higher education. Afterwards, in 2010, Gross worked at the Office of Admission and led the esteemed P100s for three years. He became Assistant Director of the SAC on July 15.
As an alumnus with a background in SG, Gross knows how important it is for administrators to work closely with students. SG President Bhumi Patel has worked closely with Gross since her freshman year when he worked in the Office of Admissions, and most recently while designing the student organization suite.
“His background as a previous student body president has absolutely been beneficial to us because he can truly relate to the views and needs of students,” Patel said. “It’s been great having him over in the SAC.”
Zipcars, extended dining hall hours and the UBike program are all initiatives Gross worked on when he was student president. Now as assistant director, he still works closely with students to improve campus by running the SAC’s events, marketing and information desk services.
“After planning space allocation, and policies, it was incredible to see the freshmen pushing the doors open behind Shalala when it opened,” Gross said. “Some of these were my own plans.”
Gross also advises the Sigma Chi fraternity and reports the statistics for athletic events with UM football, baseball, volleyball and basketball, as well as the Miami Heat and the Miami Dolphins.