Upon arrival at N.C. Central University, I always dreamed of one day being able to serve and showcase our campus in way that had never before been seen or imagined.
I have worked hard to showcase a spirit of servant leadership I would like to see the student body emulate. As I previously expressed in my personal statement to the NCCU community in regards to my status as acting student body president, the smallest things can jeopardize life’s biggest rewards.
I accept full responsibility for my actions in regards to the violation of wearing paraphernalia related to the currently-suspended Alpha Kappa chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., even though I am a member in good standing of the fraternity itself. However, I would never imagine that this small of an infraction would result in myself or former junior class president Ahmad Mosley’s removal from the offices we have dedicated the majority of our year to. The timing couldn’t be worse either — SGA is left with a month and a half in the academic year to accomplish so many final tasks, including hosting the UNC system’s Association of Student Governments meeting and presenting at the last NCCU Board of Trustees meeting, where we’d voted to rename our administration building just last month.
I feel that there was a alternative way to handle this situation and our removal was not in the best interest of the student body. My official call to action is for the SGA constitution and other university policies to be updated and clearly interpreted, as well as having formal processes in which we abide by.
However, in this particular situation, I have been disheartened and felt abandoned by some of the professionals who serve hand-in-hand with student leadership and have called on me day in and day out to serve far beyond the parameters of my position as SGA president. We work hard on developing and molding our campus leaders, but we must also work on preserving and proceeding with that leadership development before and after leaving office.
To Chancellor Akinleye and Vice Chancellor [for Student Affairs] Coleman: I thank you for your efforts in serving our campus, but I ask both of you to make your own decisions at the best interest of the student body. Remember that it is the electing students’ voices that truly matter. It is imperative that we start tackling the problem of outdated policies and procedures to avoid issues like this in the future that can truly have an impact on the student experience.
My goal is for every academic year not to end in controversy and turmoil, but on good terms to showcase NCCU in a favorable light. The amount of tension that builds at the end of every year clearly shows that we have to tackle administrative issues quickly instead of sweeping them under the rug. The behind-the-scenes experience of campus leadership is tough, taxing, and tiring with no focus on the well-being of the students serving in these roles, especially that of the serving student body president. The amount of time, energy, and dedication put forth into these roles needs to be recognized by a university that emphasizes truth, service, and leadership. NCCU’s SGA and Student Advisory Board is on its fifth removal of the year; there is clearly an underlying issue that needs to be addressed, and that starts at the top to the bottom.
No matter what this situation develops into, I am thankful for serving a passionate, vocal, and involved campus community. My hope is for those than come after me to serve with integrity, leadership, and responsibility while remaining true to themselves. My remaining goal is for our student government to function as and model an organization in which the students truly have and hold the power.
All and all, I would love to serve the month-and-a-half remainder of my term as SGA president. Things like this happen. However, I know that God’s plan includes something grand for me and this serves a purpose far beyond this moment. I hope that we can move forward in the right, continue to “secure the bag,” and establish a brand of achievement and growth within and surrounding NCCU.