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Student Body President works to elevate positive campus experience

UNF’s naturally beautiful landscape is known to be a draw for prospective students when they first visit the 1,300-acre campus.
That certainly was the case for senior political science major and UNF Student Body President Johnny Grosso. He fell in love with the campus at first sight.
Johnny Grosso sitting at desk“It was the tour that locked me down 100% — UNF’s campus is gorgeous,” Grosso said.
The South Florida native, who plans to attend law school following graduation in spring 2024, can be described as the ultimate UNF champion. He’s involved in multiple organizations in addition to student government. 
Although Grosso said he initially had no plans to participate in student government (SG) during college, considering he served as class president during his high school days at Jupiter Christian, it was the COVID-19 pandemic that changed his plans.
“All of my classes got moved online, so I was in my dorm all day with nothing to do,” said Grosso. “I had to find something to get involved in.”
Seeking a way to stay engaged on campus during that time of uncertainty, he joined the Kappa Gamma Chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity, which also prompted him to participate in SG. Since joining SG, he has served in several positions including senator, attorney general and vice president in 2021 before being elected to his current role as student body president and head of the executive branch of the UNF SG in April 2023.
Grosso said he takes his role as student body president very seriously and credits many people along the way who guided and helped him to this position he now holds. One such person is UNF Student Affairs Community Council member Willie Gonzalez.
After meeting Grosso at a council event, Gonzalez says he was quite impressed with his candor about the state of the student body and where support was needed.
“He represented himself well and I found him to be articulate,” said Gonzalez. “We had a nice chat and he shared his desires and the things he was interested in doing.”
That encounter led to an internship with Congressman John Rutherford’s office in Washington, D.C. — an opportunity Grosso said he’s grateful for.
“It was a great experience and one that has helped in my role as student body president,” Grosso said.
One of his goals as student body president is to focus on community engagement with the hopes of increasing student awareness about the benefits of SG and its influence on a quality college experience.
“I feel like a lot of students don’t necessarily know how their student government works for them, from The Boathouse renovations to different dining options on campus to the university-wide committees we all sit on that have student input,” he said.
To maintain engagement with the campus community, Grosso and other SG representatives prioritize meeting with different university departments and student organizations to identify students’ expressed concerns. Additional outreach efforts include utilizing surveys to solicit student input on campus matters.
Grosso is also committed to helping the University and its students grow in every way possible, including assisting in lobbying for more campus and student funding and improving UNF’s presence in the local community through programs such as Swoop & Save — a student discount program with local retailers.
Aside from his SG duties, Grosso serves as interfraternity council president and official spokesperson for the fraternity community. When asked how he balances being a student and taking on other responsibilities, he admits it’s not easy, but focuses on what’s important. “To be totally honest, I struggle at times. I just remind myself of why I’m here.”
With his impending graduation in sight, Grosso is looking forward to attending law school to further explore his interests in international law and foreign affairs. After law school, he hopes to commission in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG Corps) — fulfilling a lifelong dream to serve in the U.S. military. However, when further discussing his long-term goals, he isn’t ruling out a return to The Nest.
“If I ever had an opportunity to work here, I would take it in a heartbeat,” said Grosso. “It’s given me everything.”
Name: John Grosso
Class: Senior
Major: Political Science with a concentration in public law
Favorite places on campus: Student Union, Bamboo Garden and the library
Favorite activities: Playing golf
One person you would like to meet: Don Shula — “I’m a huge Dolphins fan.”