New leaders provide student voice, highlight opportunities

Jacob Schultz, President, Undergraduate Student Government, and Danielle Leibowitz, student member of the Board of Trustees. Photo: Sheila Vemmer (click on image for larger file size)

Danielle Leibowitz, student trustee, and Jacob Schulz, president of the Undergraduate Student Government, were elected spring semester. Photo: S.K. Vemmer

Student trustee Danielle Leibowitz doesn’t have much leisure time in her busy schedule, but when she does, she enjoys photography.

Undergraduate Student Government president Jacob Schulz is a blues musician who released his first album last fall.

The two undergraduate leaders have interests as varied as the students they represent.

“I like to take pictures of flowers and little things,” Leibowitz says, showing a photograph on her smartphone of a weed growing from a sidewalk crack.

“There’s a lot of things out there that are big and beautiful, but there’s so many little things we walk by every day, and those are the things that catch my eye.”

It’s no coincidence that for Leibowitz, the best thing about UIC is its students.

“I love the people,” she said. “What I care about is greatness at a university, and to me that comes in all shapes and sizes and colors. The people that make up this university are really the gems of it all.”

This is Leibowitz’s second term as UIC’s student member of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

“I make sure that students are heard by making comments at the board meetings that focus members’ attention on students when necessary,” said Leibowitz, an Honors College student and a senior in the teaching of mathematics.

“A lot of the time, we hear all of these presentations about numbers and plans and strategic efforts, and sometimes you need a student to jump in there to say, ‘Hey, remember it’s all about us.’”

USG, which has a president, vice president and 30 voting members,  is the connection between the administration and students, said Schulz, a senior in the College of Urban Policy and Public Affairs and student supervisor at the Commuter Student Resource Center.

“One of the missions from my standpoint is to work more closely with the colleges to ensure accountability and efficiency, and to make sure that students are given the services that they require and need,” he said.

He also plans to help students become more aware of the opportunities UIC offers.

“We have a lot of great resources that students don’t take advantage of,” Schulz said. “I think one of our goals could be to help bridge that communication gap.”

In his spare time, Schulz pursues his singing career. His debut album, “Blues from Below,” includes classic blues and his own compositions, including songs about Chicago violence and the Bronzeville neighborhood where he lives.

Both Leibowitz and Schulz plan to continue working in student affairs after graduation.

“My goal is to help students,” said Leibowitz, who wants to make positive changes in the Chicago Public School system.

Schulz plans to earn his master’s in student personnel administration.

Both the student trustee and USG offices are located on the third floor of Student Center East (395 SCE for the trustee’s office, 396 for USG).

Contact Leibowitz at dleibo2@uic.edu and Schulz at jschul28@uic.edu

View a complete list of student election results online.