Student Body President Looks Ahead to an Exciting New School Year
Jerry Tsai says that now that the campus has undergone a major physical transformation, it’s up to students to charge the campus spirit to a new level.
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Lisa Ventre
University of Cincinnati Student Body President Jerry Tsai remembers when there was quite a detour getting from one end of West Campus to the other. After spending three years rounding construction fences during the most intensive years of the MainStreet construction project, Tsai was one of the thousands of people who participated in the Meet Me on MainStreet festivities last spring to celebrate the completion of the student life-centered corridor through the heart of campus.
Now marking his senior year at UC and his election as Student Body President last spring, Tsai, a 21-year-old political science major from Marysville, Ohio, is looking forward to generating more student excitement on campus as a result of the MainStreet transformation.
“I wish for returning students to come back with a drive to do something for them and for our campus, and to make the most of this coming year,” Tsai says. “Get engaged! Be part of the team of UC Bearcats! It’s no fun just sitting on the sidelines. There’s more to UC than just the books and the studying that make college, college!”
In a summer letter to new and returning students, Tsai mentioned how students can create lasting memories by connecting to the campus excitement, including support of the home team as they take on their Big East rivals.
As for new students, while graduating from high school senior to uncertain college freshman can occasionally be unnerving, he says new students have an amazing opportunity to make a fresh start. “It doesn’t matter anymore what you did or didn’t do in high school. The person sitting next to you in class doesn’t know your history, so now you have an opportunity to improve yourself.
“You have the opportunity to be the person you’ve always dreamed of being. Don’t let that opportunity pass you by.”
Tsai himself was active in student council in high school as well as numerous other student activities. As a result, he wanted to make sure he didn’t overextend himself until he adjusted to his freshman year in college. “I remember thinking that I’d just focus only on my class work. That idea lasted about one quarter. One day, I just randomly walked into the Student Government office when it was housed in the bubble (a temporary structure as part of the MainStreet construction) near Braunstein Hall. And, on a whim, I joined the student cabinet.”
The following spring, he got elected to student senator-at-large and has been active in Student Government ever since. Tsai was also UC’s 2005 Homecoming King, and is a member of Sigma Sigma, a UC men’s honorary that recognizes students who have made significant contributions to the university. He also belongs to the Men of Metro spirit honorary and the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honorary.
Tsai says that when he was choosing where to attend college, he liked UC’s “big/small environment. It has a large student population, nearly four times the size of my hometown, so I got that ‘big environment’ feeling, but UC is actually a community with a small-town feel to it. I can walk from one end of the campus to other and come across several people that I know.
“I wanted to go to a bigger college, much bigger than my high school. But here at UC, you don’t have to get lost in the crowd.”
Tsai also emphasizes that students do have a strong voice in their education at UC. Two recent examples include creation of a student-proposed course aimed at educating students about financial responsibility, and the student-created and funded Bearcat Transportation System that transports the UC community from campus to surrounding neighborhoods as well as Uptown, downtown and Cincinnati USA eateries and entertainment outlets.
“Students do have a voice here and being in this position has really shown me that,” he says. “Sometimes, the administration will take our ideas and run with it.”
Tsai welcomes students to stop by the Student Government Office, call Student Government at 513-556-6107, or provide feedback UC is Listening link featured on the Student Government Web site at http://www.feedback.uc.edu/