Student Government President Brianna Hathaway aims to inspire passions

Brianna Hathaway
Brianna Hathaway

Brianna Hathaway has a reputation for taking on the challenges that come with her new position as president of Student Government (SG).

Hathaway has been involved in SG since her first semester at the U, when she was elected as a senator. While her role has evolved and expanded into SG’s most notable position, it has always been about two things for her: making a difference and helping others.

“Brianna is incredibly passionate about making UM a great place,” fellow SG member Renée Perez said. “She loves the U with all her heart, and that was clear even from her posts on the Class of 2016 Facebook page [before she stepped foot on campus as an official UM student].”

Hathaway has big plans for this year and is eager to begin working with her team. For her, SG is all about giving a voice to the students so that their opinions and suggestions are heard.

“As president, I help facilitate a working relationship between the students and administration, the City of Coral Gables and the Board of Trustees,” she said. “In regard to Student Government as a whole, it is my job to listen to the needs of the students so that I can work to accomplish as many of their initiatives as possible.”

SG’s initiatives for the year include free rental of chargers at the library, a variety of new food options and increased security in the Panhellenic parking lot. Student safety is a big focus for SG, so Hathaway plans on taking the lead on the issue.

“There are many plans in place to create a safer U, such as implementing more options to encourage pedestrian safety, as well as increasing security and lighting in certain areas of campus,” she said.

Hathaway and her team have already secured HBO GO for housing and updated the medical amnesty policy.

“I would really love to see a 24/7 food option on this campus. Since we now have a 24/7 study option, I think it is vital that we have a place open all hours for those students who choose to stay here all night and study,” Hathaway said of her upcoming goals.

Ishtpreet Singh spent countless hours campaigning with Hathaway as her vice president and now serves in that role. According to him, Hathaway’s passion spreads to those around her.

“She brings an incredible level of energy into everything she does,” he said. “And, because of that, there is never a dull moment in all that we do.”

Studying is an important part of Hathaway’s life. She is double majoring in economics and political science and triple minoring in Spanish, business administration and business law. Her advisor, Heather Stevens, praised the Hammond Scholar.

“Brianna has been able to maintain a high GPA as a political science and economics double major while also involving herself fully in representing the student body both through Student Government and Orientation,” Stevens said. “While she is involved in much more, Brianna has always been able to place priority on her school work, as she has been taking the LSAT in her hopes to attend law school in the future.”

Hathaway’s extracurricular repertoire is just as impressive. Her extensive list of involvements and activities include her sisterhood in the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, being a tour guide in the President’s 100, Scuba Club, the Order of Omega and the President’s Campus Coalition on Sexual Violence Prevention and Education, to name a few.

“A typical week consists of 100 emails a day, two or three wardrobe changes a day, 15 credits worth of classes and Netflix,” Hathaway said.

Perhaps what is most admirable about Hathaway is her personality. Senator Zoe Kafkes, who represents the School of Communication, said that Hathaway is known as someone who is passionate about others.

“Brianna’s passions are other people’s passions. That is why the name of the ticket she ran on was called ‘For U.’ She wants to help other students realize what they love about this campus and their experiences here,” she said.

Brianna is the kind of person who makes others her priority. She achieves her goals and makes others smile in the process.

“Brianna has a sweatshirt that reads ‘A Woman’s place is in the House AND the Senate,’” Kafkes said, laughing. “This sense of humor combined with a drive for success demonstrates her focus on getting things done while having a great time. No matter how stressed out Brianna gets, she still knows how to put a smile on her face and help those around her feel strong and loved.”

It doesn’t seem like any challenge, big or small, can slow Hathaway. For her, the biggest obstacles are the smallest things.

“I’ve learned that there is a lot involved in even accomplishing small tasks on and off campus,” Hathaway said. “The biggest challenge is that it does take time to accomplish even the smallest of feats.”

For anyone looking to follow in Hathaway’s footsteps, she has a little piece of advice: “Figure out what you love to do and search for a club or organization with that same passion. If something you feel strongly about isn’t on this campus, take the initiative to start it yourself.”

As for her passion, it’s all about the well-being of others.

“I’m most passionate about creating a university in which every student feels that there is something here for him or her.”