As an active student leader at Rutgers University-Newark, Sarah Shobut has demonstrated a strong commitment to creating change social change through awareness raising, advocacy, and activism. During her time at Rutgers-Newark, Sarah has effectively implemented initiatives aimed at addressing social inequities experienced by historically underrepresented and marginalized communities. After being elected as a Senator for the Student Governing Association (SGA), Sarah worked in partnership with LGBTQIA+ and undocumented students to mobilize support for campus-wide initiatives designed to raise visibility of these communities. Sarah’s dedication to civic engagement and social justice has also resulted in the formation of multiple student-lead initiatives including incentivizing student leaders to complete a Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance (VPVA) bystander training and the creation of a student safety committee to work in collaboration with campus police. Through her role as Vice President of the Rutgers Newark College Democrats club, Sarah has multiple organized voter registration drives, resulting in Rutgers-Newark winning the state-wide Ballot Bowl competition for two consecutive years. Sarah’s commitment, strong leadership, and genuine passion for serving the community has positioned her to become an influential agent of social change.
As an Immigrant Muslim Woman, I noticed decisions are made by people that did not represent me, nor did they a reflect my community and identities, whether regarding practicing my religious beliefs, or being in charge of my own body. After that life-changing realization, I became disappointed with the level of civic engagement of my peers. I wanted to help give voice to underrepresented and marginalized groups. As Vice President of the Rutgers Newark College Democrats, I helped coordinate participation in Ballot Bowl, a statewide non-partisan voter registration competition in New Jersey. Rutgers-Newark has won twice in a row! I found the passion for increasing engagement of students with their government on all levels, whether locally or in school. As a Student Governing Association Senator, I helped craft bills and resolutions giving a platform especially for two of our most underrepresented student constituencies: the LGBTQIA+ and the Undocumented Student communities. Our government needs to reflect and serve all people, no matter their religion, gender, race, ethnic background, citizenship status, sexual orientation, and or any factor. No matter the level of government, we can make change if we are committed to better our lives and those of the people around us.