What is a Provost? This is a question the answer of which eludes most of us. Or at least, it did me.

Apparently, it is the highest academic position in an institution of higher learning. I only knew this after having to meet the Provost when he suddenly decided to come down on a visit. Our Provost, of course, is Dr. Seymour Schwartz, known and esteemed the world over by physicians. He graciously gave talks to all students of COM (College of Medicine) and, while his speech did mostly consist of previously heard themes of working one’s hardest, and engaging in ethical behaviours and practices, the opportunity to be addressed by such an august figure was an excellent and highly appreciated one. And since I am the SGA Executive Vice President, I got the opportunity to meet him one on one. We (the exec board) were invited to a faculty-only dinner and reception for him.

He seemed like a very pleasant man, and apparently his son went for his graduate work to the same undergraduate college that I did. He, his wife, and I spent some time talking about my alma mater, the University of Virginia. My only problem was, and this is meant with no disrespect, that his name sounded like something from a Mel Brooks film. This seemed especially apt since, when he was giving a speech before dinner, he had a particular style of jocular phrasing very reminiscent of the great Mel Brooks that entertained us all greatly and nearly had me in tears.

That evening was a lot of fun, beginning as it did with me and several other people giving a brief performance for the assembled members of faculty. Any chance to perform makes it a fun night for me. And then after that, we enjoyed an excellent dinner, some decent drinks, and very pleasant conversation. As the night wound down, it became even more fun as my fellow students and I got to spend time with a couple of our professors – it was a very, very enjoyable experience. My regard for those professors only increased at being able to witness how awesome they were. It does go to show that being a member of the SGA does have its myriad benefits.

by Prakash Jayanthi, Class of 2014