Fun fact about President Barack Obama: He collects Spider-Man comic books. Fun fact about First Lady of The College of Charleston, Jane Benson: She participated in the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Trials. Fun fact about my Editor-In-Chief, Sarah Sheafer: She spent a semester studying in Israel. Fun fact about Student Body President Erica Arbetter…
On any given day there’s bound to be a new picture uploaded on Arbetter’s personal instagram account of her throwing up the Zeta crown with her sorority sisters or working with Student Body Secretary, Jordan Hensley, to deliver academic planners to on-campus residence halls.
Through the lens of social media Arbetter seems like she’s having just as much fun as the next college student, but when I visited her in the Student Government hub embedded in the Stern Student Center she couldn’t think of one quality about herself that she would consider “fun.”
So we started with the basic facts.
Arbetter is a proud Texan straight out of Dallas. With all of her Texas pride that she flamboyantly displays in the SGA office it’s a surprise that she decided to go to an out-of-state college. “I tell people all the time: I didn’t choose The College of Charleston. The College of Charleston chose me,” Arbetter said.
Like many of The College’s students Arbetter went through an extensive search for colleges but as soon as she stepped on this campus she knew she would be spending the next four years here. But had you asked her if she would be in the position of Student Body President during her junior year she wouldn’t have believed you.
But now that Arbetter is fulfilling the role of President, she has a plethora of goals that she wants to achieve. “I looked at my potential and what I could bring to the table, and I didn’t really try to compare myself to the others.”
On her to-do list for the year is to make SGA and the administration more accessible to the student body. “If more students knew how much the administration focuses on students…” Arbetter paused, and it was easy to catch a glimpse of how passionate she is about the betterment of the student body. She continued, and with just enough conviction said, “the students are the driving force of our campus.”
I wanted to finish this interview just the way I started it. I wanted the student body to know something fun and real about their free spirited president. So I asked Arbetter one last time to tell me a fun fact about herself. We sat in silence for a while as Arbetter couldn’t think of one interesting thing about herself. “I’m just not fun,” she finally said.
So we ended our interview, went back to Arbetter’s office and chatted about how she’s convinced that she just isn’t a fun person. Hensley who was also in the office listening to our ridiculous conversation chimed in to tell us that a fun fact about her is that she use to wear roller skates when she cleaned her room because she thought it made her clean faster.
It seemed like we were all having a good laugh at Arbetter’s expense and her inability to share fun attributes when something clicked. At once every quirky quality, every playfully embarrassing detail, every fun fact that makes Arbetter the young woman she is came flooding out of her mouth.
Fun facts about Erica Arbetter: Her first language was Spanish. Her first word was rojo. She’s blind in her left eye. She couldn’t read until she was in the third grade, but she got an 800 on the reading portion of the SAT’s.