Freshman men’s squash player Charles Braff has dived head-first into college life. Just weeks into his first year on Grounds, he threw his hat into the ring, running for a position in student government. After a successful campaign, we chatted with the First Year Council Representative about his call to civic duty and the upcoming squash season in this Hoos Life Q&A.

Q: What prompted you to run for student government?

CB: I always thought about it in high school but never really pulled the trigger on it. That’s why I really wanted to do it here. My twin brothers [Andrew & William Braff], who graduated last year, did it their first year and highly recommended it for me. I wanted to meet a part of the community that I wouldn’t have normally met if I didn’t do this. This can expand my horizons.

Q: What does a Representative on the First Year Council do?

CB: There is an election that chooses three students per dorm. We meet weekly and try to create events within each dorm and also between dorms. Everything so far has just been preliminary. We had our first meeting last week, and we did a lot of icebreakers, but I think after reading days, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of events in the planning.

Q: What was the election process?

CB: There was a little bit of campaigning. I had to use chalk and chalk down some stuff on the sidewalks near O-Hill.

Q: How is squash going for you?

CB: The transition was a little tricky at first because I haven’t played really competitive squash since the start of the pandemic, just with all the COVID procedures and my high school limiting squash. So that was definitely hard at first, but my body’s gotten acclimated to it. I love the camaraderie. We’re a pretty tight-knit team, and everyone’s really good friends. It’s just fun. It’s a fun atmosphere.

Q: You mentioned your brothers earlier. What advice have they given you about UVA?

CB: They definitely told me to work hard. And to have fun, which is also important. The biggest thing is to cherish every moment of it. It’s the best four years of your life.

The Virginia men’s squash team opens its season on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at Navy. The men’s and women’s teams’ home opener will be Saturday, Dec. 3, against Dartmouth