Of the six states Connor Dugosh has lived in (Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee), he chose the "Volunteer State" to call home.
A junior in English and creative writing and UT's new Student Government Association vice president, Dugosh knows the students of UT well.
Since arriving on campus, he has been a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity, a UT Ambassador, an Orientation Leader, a former Student Senate representative, and a Freshman Council co-advisor.
Moving to Knoxville from Murfreesboro, Tenn., Dugosh served as vice president of his local high school.
"I like the purpose of a student government," he said. "It's different from real government, and you can actually see an impact of handling real problems for real students,"
Not a fan of big-world politics, Dugosh does not intend to pursue government after his graduation from UT. He just wants to be a voice for the students while he can.
"My goal is to make students love UT more," he said.
Dugosh met Kelsey Keny, SGA's new president, his freshman year and says the two clicked immediately. Having met through an SGA campaign, the two never considered running for office until it was casually suggested by a group of friends.
Shrugging off the suggestion at first, Dugosh became increasingly interested after looking into the SGA Constitution.
"I just checked off everything, and I knew I could do vice president," he said. "Kelsey and I were immediately drawn to these two because we were the best fit for them."
Having been a member of the Student Senate for four semesters, Dugosh feels ready to serve as president of the senate under VP expectations. His experiences as a Freshman Council co-advisor, an Orientation Leader and ambassador have equipped him, he says, with a list of concerns for improving the freshman experience.
"One problem that I have found is that I don't feel like there is one time where we come together as a student body outside of Neyland Stadium," he said. "We need to be providing ways to be inclusive of all students and endorse programs that not everyone is aware of and help students find a place on campus.
"... They need more support in those first few months."
Dugosh calls attending UT the best decision of his life. Although he didn't know much about UT before his arrival, he fondly remembers his first UT football game and singing Rocky Top at the top of his lungs surrounded by orange and the pouring rain.
"The spirit here at UT is hard to match anywhere else," Dugosh said.
Kelsey and Dugosh have already begun designing ways to budget in scantrons for students during finals and midterm weeks free of charge. They would also like to begin the All Vol tailgate as soon as possible.
"We are trying to make SGA more visible to students, something that's easy on the eyes," he said. "We want to put an emphasis on the students."
Upon hearing about the low voter turnout in this year's SGA elections, Dugosh also hopes to start an initiative to get more votes from the student body.
"We need to really create a foundation where SGA is important to the student body and where SGA can grow to be really great," he said. "We want students to care about something that cares about them."
Dugosh is still figuring out his plans post-graduation. Once set on a pre-law track, as time progressed he became less attracted to the field. However, he possesses a passion for writing and would one day like to write a novel.
"The Elevator", an original short story written by Dugosh, is currently being made into a short film in an upper-level video productions class.
His favorite author is Cormac McCarthy, but Dugosh says he finds inspiration everywhere.
"I'm a fan of people watching," he said.
Ultimately, Dugosh admits he's really excited about getting to know as many UT students as possible and making their volunteer experience as great as it can be.
"I'm a weird dude," he finished. "I love pugs."