Reyna Brown can be seen sitting at the Student Leadership and Engagement desk during her office hours, or perhaps playing the elderly Marit Kiil in PASJ’s production of “Public Enemy.” Her real role on campus, however, is Senate President. Brown’s experience in a leadership role goes back to her junior year of high school when she was elected Junior Class President. She was elected to the position of Student Body President her senior year.
Originally from Oxnard, Calif., Brown is now finishing her third year at USF. She is majoring in Performing Arts and Social Justice with a concentration in Theater and a minor in Peace and Justice Studies.
Brown used her first year at USF to spend time exploring the city and getting used to college. After a year of transitioning to USF, she decided to get involved with leadership once again. Brown served as her Class Representative during her sophomore year. She then earned a position as Vice President of Advocacy in Senate. This year, she holds the position of ASUSF President. Brown’s inspiration to run for president came from her strong passions for fighting for the needs of her community and for making sure everybody is comfortable and happy in the space we share.
Fall 2017 was Brown’s first semester in this role. “Looking back at first semester, it feels like not a lot of things happened because first semester is all about planning and implementing and having difficult conversations,” Brown said. “There wasn’t a lot of tangible things coming out of it. But I know that with this semester coming around there’s definitely going to be a lot of progress. A lot of the initiatives we are focusing on this year are extremely big.”
Brown also has a project she has been working on towards a new event called “Interceptions of Resistance,” scheduled for April 14. Brown came up with her idea over the summer when she attended the National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference at Georgetown University. Some of the discussions she took part in included workshops on diversity and inclusion. However, at the conference, Brown felt that there wasn’t enough representation or diversity present.
“Being frustrated in the space, seeing how much it didn’t matter for people of color to have a space and be visible in their space and how all that was just completely unaccounted for was extremely disheartening,” Brown said. After her experience, Brown came back to school with the idea to have a conference where students of color would be represented in the context of leadership roles. She was encouraged by Julie Orio to tell the Board of Jesuits, which oversees all Jesuit institutions, what they need to change about their conference to make it more inclusive.
Brown believed a dedicated platform for students of color to network was necessary. Through lots of planning and working with others involved in ASUSF Senate, she put together “Interceptions of Resistance.” The location for the conference is to be decided.
“I’m a college student, too. I don’t really know what’s going on either,” Brown said of being president. “But at the same time, I like being able to train myself to have the professionalism to hold myself in front the board of trustees and speak in a way that’s going to make them listen.”
Featured Photo: Reyna Brown is ASUSF’s senate president this year. Her past roles include Sophomore class representative and Vice President of Advocacy on Senate. USFSLE/FLICKR