Gatepost Interview: Karl Bryan, Student Trustee

[Allie Gath]

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Malden Massachusetts. I lived there my whole life. … I’ve lived in the same house since I was a year-and-half old until now. So I consider that my real roots – my real hometown.

Why did you choose to attend FSU?

My sister went here before me. She was a senior when I was a freshman. So, the distance from Malden is 40 to 45 minutes. So I can go home whenever I want. They have a good program – I’m a political science major. With the familiarity of my sister being here and the distance and the major, I was a pretty good fit. Also, the size of the campus – it’s small and I don’t l really like the big city campuses.

What are the responsibilities of the Student Trustee?

All I really do is I’m the bridge between the students and the administration. Any student concerns I voice to the administration and I bring information from the administrative board back to the students. And also pushing initiatives on behalf of the students – whatever that may be.

How did you become involved with SGA?

My freshman year, I become a senator because I thought that student government was a good way to get involved – it was a good resume builder. As I got into it, I realized that my goal was to affect policy on campus and student government – as a senator – that’s a difficult way to do it. So I ran for student trustee last year – my sophomore year – but I didn’t get it and then this year, I ran again and I got it.

What do you find is the hardest part about being an RA?

I think the hardest part is policy enforcement and having residents know you’re there to be a friendly person but also to enforce the rules and having them understand that.

Do you have any career aspirations for when you graduate? 

I’m thinking about going to law school once I graduate. Then after that becoming a lawyer for a while, my main high-up there goal in life is to become a senator. We’ll see if that happens.

Who are your role models?

My dad is the most generous person I have ever encountered. He grew up in Jamaica. He didn’t really have much growing up and now coming here into the United States he’s been able to do very well for himself. Having his experiences of not having much as a child really gives him an understanding of the hardships people go through and he uses that to help people. … I try to take that in my own life. Try to be as generous as possible, try to give as much as I can. Which is also why I feel that I became Student Trustee because I wanted to give back to the campus. I feel that the campus has shown me a lot about myself. And if there is anything I can do to help others have the experiences I have, then that’s just my goal.

What is your most memorable experience at FSU so far?

I think moving in the first day of freshman year because you’re kind of just thrown in from your hometown and never really been around people other than your hometown. When I first moved in the first person to greet me was my RA. He was just very friendly and welcoming, and immediately, I felt that I could have a home here. So that really clicked in me that college is a positive experience and it can be fun. That set a tone for my career here.

What advice would you give to FSU students?

Don’t think that you know everything because it’s very easy to think that since you graduated high school. … You’re off on your own, you feel like an adult, but you’re not. So be open to everything – keep an open mind and be willing to experience different things. … Don’t feel like there is anything to prove because everyone’s here to build themselves and find themselves. Kind of go with the flow and find yourself here.