The Campus Echo interviewed N.C. Central University’s Mr. and Miss Freshman 2018-19, computer science major Jeremy Williams and biology/pre-med major Hanya Boler, about their journey to the crown.
Campus Echo: Why did you decide to run for your position?
Jeremy Williams: Campaigning was all new to me — I wanted to challenge myself and see what I could do and bring to NCCU(‘s class of) ’22.
Hanya Boler: I have a story that is overlooked by a lot of people, and most African-Americans suffer from depression. I feel that if I’m able to tell my story, then others will do the same and be comfortable with opening up to me as well as others.
CE: Tell us about your platform running for your position in September.
JW: My slogan was “Take Action”: I want my class to take advantage of all the opportunities that we have on campus, like community service, internships, et cetera. As you know, we need 120 hours (of service to graduate), so if we can start now, why not?
HB: My slogan was “The R.E.A.L.: Readying Eagles for Authentic Lessons.” Authentic means finding your true self. In order to find your true self, you need to know what you’ve been through in life and how to use that to your advantage.
CE: What impact do you plan to have on NCCU?
JW: I definitely plan to leave a positive legacy at NCCU. My main thing is to get everybody on board. I think that being in college is great and I want everybody to enjoy the college experience. Going door-to-door, I met a lot of people and some of them told me how they really just sit in their rooms. I don’t like that. I really want my class to be involved.
HB: The impact I want to leave is that you can be strong. I always want to seem as though that I am strong and a leader. If I can do it, then you can too, so that’s really my goal.
CE: What can you offer NCCU in your position?
JW: Trust, loyalty, and, of course, leadership.
HB: I can offer comfortability and being very welcoming with open arms.
CE: Who influenced you the most to run for your position?
JW: I definitely would have to say Mr. NCCU himself, Jamaal (Searcy).
HB: Jamaal — Jamaal and Faith (Thomas-Lewis, Miss NCCU). I was talking to her at orientation about running. One day, she saw me walking and she was like, “You are Miss Freshman!” Without Faith and Jamaal, I definitely wouldn’t be here. I’m beyond grateful.
CE: What are your plans now that you’ve been elected?
JW: I plan on having a workshop. Like I said, my slogan was “Take Action!” I want freshman to take advantage of their opportunities and be informed and aware of all the things our university has to offer.
HB: I’m actually trying to work on a program about depression and suicide. I really want it to be very open, where people feel comfortable talking about their issues. I want to get staff, faculty, and the ministry (at the Office of Spiritual Development and Dialogue) all in on this to be a successful program.
CE: What qualities makes you worthy of your crown?
JW: I am strong and I have good leadership and communication skills. I can relate to my class, which allows me to be able to advocate for them.
HB: I’m a strong leader. Not everybody can stand in front of people and talk about what they’ve been through, that’s it’s true that (I’ve) been raped and been through depression. It really takes a lot to be able to say all of that in front of people who you don’t know. I know that I can be a strong leader as well an inspiring one. I want to touch peoples’ hearts and leave an impact.
CE: What was most challenging for you during campaign season?
JW: Going against my competition, because they worked so hard.
HB: Having people talk to you, and going against all my competition as well. During campaign season, I texted them and said “thank y’all” because if they didn’t go as hard, I would’ve never went even harder.
CE: Do you feel that your position will change who you are, and why?
JW: I feel like it would only change me for the better. By gaining this leadership role, it will definitely help me better myself.
HB: I don’t think it will change me. I feel that it will mold me into the person I’ve always wanted to be.