Jamie Williams-Smith, the 64th Student Government president, is planning to relax this summer.
Her presidency defined her senior year of college. She entered the role with a steep set of promises to her voters, focused on ushering in “a new era of transparency.” Through her non-stop commitment and knack for problem solving, she did.
Williams-Smith’s team helped change housing priority to be based on sign-up and deposit date, added cameras throughout Pink and Brown parking garages, opened a syllabus bank for large courses with plans to add more syllabi and added a headshot booth to the Toppel Career Center. Her list of SG accomplishments continues, expanding to the Wednesday Market, Corner Deli, cognates system and beyond.
Many of these changes, as Williams-Smith and The Miami Hurricane have noted, have been sticking points for students.
While SG president, Williams-Smith became privy to much more information, including details she hadn’t anticipated on the campaign trail. As she approached each issue, Williams-Smith had to square these constraints with her promises and the demands of the students.
“There’s two sides to every coin,” Williams-Smith said. “Administrators can look at [a solution] from a more bird’s eye view and be like, ‘Okay, but what does this mean for 20 years from now? For 30 years from now?”
Each accomplishment is a response to the demands of students, yet some initiatives even reached beyond her promises.
In early December, just before final exams, SG, Counseling Outreach Peer Education and Association of Greek Letter Organizations hosted (De)Stress Fest. The gathering, the first of its kind, was Williams-Smith’s brainchild.
She spearheaded the planning, reservations and collaborations with other on-campus organizations. Over 700 students showed up for free mental health resources: puppies and massages. Students also learned mental self-care tools.
“She did it simply because she thought she could make an impact,” said Kofi Bame, the director of Outreach in SG and a junior studying computer science and psychology.
Bame is also William Smith’s boyfriend of two years, having met at a watch party on the Foote Green in his freshman year.
The (De)Stress Fest initiative can’t be found in her campaign promises, yet Bame remembers Williams-Smith pouring many hours into the event’s actualization.
Between initiatives, the past year featured a plethora of emails, text messages and spur-of-the-moment coordinating. Bame also recalls the rapid approach of Hurricane Ian in mid October, 2022, where Williams-Smith was constantly on the phone, working to ensure that student concerns were answered.
These “in the background,” intangible moments are where Williams-Smith commitment to the presidency and student body showed through.
“A lot of people saw something in Jamie that she didn’t see in herself,” Bame said.
Williams-Smith learned to realize her potential while in office, tapping into her talent for problem solving to navigate the challenges of her position. With each successful policy came negotiating, advocating and listening to all sides to ultimately reach a resolution.
Williams-Smith’s day-to-day operations of her position are the evidence to her problem-solving talent.
A few weeks ago, Williams-Smith learned the discount parking in the Mahoney-Pearson parking garage was slated to be removed. She quickly met with her Executive Board, a team representing a broad array of students, and agreed upon a demand of 100 commuter spaces to administration.
Shortly after, Williams-Smith had secured the parking spaces.
“She brings everyone together,” Bame said. “Jamie is able to synthesize what both sides are saying and come to one solution that everybody agrees with.”
Through Williams-Smith’s college career, she’s increasingly realized her affinity for problem solving, shifting from a focus on finance to consulting.
Last summer, she tried an internship at Deloitte, a consulting firm which provides expertise for a diverse array of situations. It squared well with her skills.
“I feel like it embraces all of my passions of problem solving, being innovative, creative and also working with people and being the social part of a company instead of behind the scenes,” Williams-Smith said.
With another year of problem solving under her belt, Williams-Smith is now anticipating a full-time position at Deloitte in the fall.
Before she begins her next phase of problem solving, she plans to take some time for herself this coming summer.
“Being on my own time is a big part of it,” Williams-Smith said. “Just focusing on myself.”