Let Us Introduce You: Matt Ryan

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Let Us Introduce You: Matt Ryan

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SGA President prepares to engage student body, enjoys yoga, Tai Chi

When Matt Ryan first visited Saint Louis University in his senior year of high school, he said he fell in love and immediately knew where he wanted to study as an undergraduate.

Shah (Yuqing Xia) / Photo Editor

Last semester as a sophomore, Ryan and several friends directed their passion and plans for SLU and student leadership before the University and the students elected him Student Government Association President.

“Our campaign had 2,800 students support us in the election. Now, it’s time for those 2,800 and every other student to work to better campus this upcoming year,” Ryan said.

A junior from Overland Park, Kan. who is studying Public Health and Economics, Ryan has pursued multiple interests since coming to SLU. He was involved with the Irish Student Guild and the Political Round Table during his first two years at SLU, and his interest in student government reaches back to the spring of his freshman year.

During his time in SGA, Ryan said he took a special interest regarding issues of diversity.

He sat on the Diversity Committee board of SGA and engaged in Saint Louis University Students for Undergraduate Socio-Economic Diversity (SLU/FUSED), a student organization that promotes socio-economic diversity on campus.

Now, he said he encourages the students at SLU to unite for one purpose through SGA’s direction.

“As the student government, we want to set pathways for success and empower our fellow students to reach their goals,” Ryan said.

Though both successes and challenges wait in the new school year, Ryan said he seeks to connect with and represent the needs of the student body.

“Now, SGA’s job is to find energy to make a transition. The success of campaigning cannot be the same success of governing,” Ryan said. “But I believe that if we guide with vision and reason out difficulties, students will understand and appreciate where we stand.”

While some may think that being SGA President would come with endless demands, Ryan said he is determined to keep school, SGA and his personal life in balance. He enjoys Yoga and Tai Chi as stress-relievers, and finds support in taking a step back from the blur of school.

“This job is important, but it is not the world” Ryan said.

Ryan acknowledged that many other students have responsibilities that are as equally important as his role in governing the student body.

“I try to find time to reflect on each day, to realize the good and what I can leave,” Ryan said. “It’s very much a Jesuit idea, and I work to make this more a part of my life.”

As Ryan and his team of vice-presidents prepare for the year, he hopes to engage students as they did during their election campaign.

“Throughout this year, I hope students realize that our campaign was never meant to be a seven-person campaign” Ryan said. “I hope students feel as involved in making this year great as I do.”