Bringing Big Changes: SGC-BBC President conquers

Images by Krono Lescano/FIUSM Staff

Written by Camila Fernandez/BBC Managing Editor

Jazmin Felix didn’t even want to be in student government.

Coming to the University as a nursing student, Felix had her sight focused on studying and no campus life involvement. Yet, after being Student Government President in middle school and Vice President in high school, being in SGA-FIU was inevitable.

“I walked passed the SGA office and it was like, ‘Jazmin, Jazmin, apply… and I was like, ‘no, no, no,’ and I kept walking and I turned right back around and I picked up an application,” Felix said.

Her passion for helping others and putting students first triumphed.

She began as a Lower Division Senator, then a Nursing & Health Sciences Senator and Speaker of the Senate. At just eighteen years old, no one expected a freshman to thrive in the SGA at such a fast pace.

“She believed in what student government stands for and to this day, she believes that and it makes it easier for her to follow up with her convictions. It is rare finding students that dedicated that early,” said Rafael Zapata, interim director at the BBC Office of Campus Life.

“It didn’t surprise me that she would potentially be president,” Zapata said. Felix soon became the BBC Student Government Council President her junior year in spring 2014.

As part of her platform for BBC-SGC President, she used the acronym BBC, Bringing Big Changes and that’s what she did.

“I feel like a lot of the challenges that we’ve had, we’ve conquered them. I was very aggressive with my goals and I knew what I wanted to do — I had such an amazing team,” Felix said.

During her 2014-2015 tenure, the council funded the renovation of the Wolfe University Center. The $4.2 million construction process included changes in the BBC Panther Square and the Panther Plaza and its addition of a panther statue.

They also added phone charging stations, lockers for student storage and a computer lab in the second floor of the WUC.

“I think the greatest achievement over the past five years is the funding and purchase of a panther statue,” said Alexis Calatayud, SGA president at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus.

“During her tenure, Jazmin has taken a role in advocating for the Biscayne Bay Campus in budget deliberation, University committees and state advocacy. These tools, when utilized well, are invaluable to the betterment of student experience,” Calatayud said.

In terms of having a stronger collaboration between the MMC and the BBC, Calatayud, who was re-elected president for the 2015-2016 school year, said topics that directly and equally impact both campuses will be discussed. However, she said it is important to understand that sometimes their unique goals and needs must be met individually.

Camille Williams, vice president of the BBC-SGC, said she appreciates the way Felix adapted to working differently with each individual she worked with.

“She’s really a great person at bringing out the best in people,” said Camille Williams, vice president of the BBC-SGC.

“We all managed to work very well with the other campus councils and we got the job done and that was a great accomplishment because we all worked together despite our differences,” she said.

Williams referred to the Inter-Council Coalition, a new partnership started by Felix, to address student needs between SGA and the rest of the BBC’s major student organizations.

Williams said that Felix’s humor brought life to the council.

“She can make anybody laugh. She could talk to a brick wall and it would talk back. That’s the character she brought to every meeting that we had and it was always very easy, but also very focused,” said Williams.

Felix is the youngest out of six brothers and sisters and a family from Turks and Caicos Islands in the British West Indies.

“I’m the baby, but you know, it’s funny because people would think I’m suppose to be the brat, right? I’m the last one, but my mom has always instilled in me good work ethic so I’ve never been like a bad brat… I’ve been a good brat,” said Felix.

Larissa Adames, SGA coordinator at the BBC Campus Life, said she always involved everyone in the council when decisions were made.

“She always thought of others so that kind of made her stand out. Once she puts her mind to something, she goes ahead and does it,” Adames said.

“She doesn’t wait for anything, or anyone. Once she sets her goal, she goes and she does it,” said Adames.

Elina Sibony, BBC-SGC Chief of Staff, said Felix changed her heart.

Sibony thought that when she entered SGA, there was going to be no room for friends because it’s a serious job.

“But, she got me this small cute box of chocolates [on Valentine’s Day] and she goes, ‘Will you be my Valentine?’ and it was just so cute. She really made SGA like a family to me and it altered my heart,” Sibony said.

“She has so much on her plate, she never loses her cool, she’s always relaxed, she’s always having a great time. It’s inspiring for me because that’s what I strive to be like. I absolutely love her,” Sibony said.

About the Author

Camila Fernandez
A FIU School of Journalism and Mass Communications Student - Began working with Student Media in 2013.

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