In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to University of the District of Columbia and did an interview with Ajeune Lynch the Student Government Association president.
The position of SGA president of a is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. Lynch, who is majoring in Political Science, is a current senior and a Fall 2019 initiate of Alpha Kappa Alpha.
We interviewed Lynch, and talked to her about her position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in 2020.
Read the full interview below.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned as an SGA president so far?
Rome was not built in a day. Neither was my institution. I have learned the value in having a strategy and plan for everything. Being SGA President has taught me to work proactively with the people around me for their skills and expertise. No part of my term has been served alone. Both teamwork and strategic planning have been the best things that I could’ve ever learned.
What made you decide to attend University of the District of Columbia for undergrad?
I am both a third-generation Washingtonian and a third-generation Firebird. It was very important to me to uphold my grandmother and mother’s legacy at UDC. UDC was also the most affordable college in my home city, so it was a no brainer to attend.
How has University of the District of Columbia molded you into the person you are today?
UDC has taught me the value of community. With our university population being less than 5,000 students, I have been able to meet and interact with others on a more personal level. Attending college in the Nation’s capital has been an experience of getting to represent my school on a local, national and international scale where I’ve had countless opportunities to fine tune my public speaking and diplomacy.
What specific initiatives have you headed up this year and how do you think they will improve the school and surrounding community?
Our current administration has focused on using a 5 Tier Initiative that I designed last year. It focuses on student concerns in the areas of Inclusivity, Campus Safety, Administrative Logistics, Budgeting and Funding and Campus Culture and Student Morale. Our current project has been supporting the #UDCFirstChoice Initiative which advocates for better resources and funding from the DC Government as we are the only public institution of higher learning in DC. By doing so, DC high school grads and other members of the community looking to obtain higher education will have access to do so at an affordable rate.
How is your school currently responding to the coronavirus and what is your SGA administration doing to help students?
Our school has implemented a grading policy that our administration is working to repeal and change. We feel that our students deserve the opportunity to successfully complete the semester without worrying about their grades. With more than half of our students receiving aid and being low income, our administration understands the value in making sure that we have fair grading in the midst of a terrible pandemic. We have also continued to encourage and congratulate the class of 2020 and look forward to a proper commencement to highlight our hard work and accomplishments.
How is the coronavirus affecting SGA elections for next year?
Current elections and campaigning are being held online. I applaud our university to proactively creating spaces for students to continue to campaign despite the circumstances. It is also bittersweet that students miss out on face to face interaction and networking on campus.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership is a verb. It is an ongoing commitment to ensuring that the people and places you serve are in better condition than you found them. Leadership is about servitude and doing to the best of your ability what you know can be beneficial and necessary to others. You never stop being a leader. Each day presents a new opportunity to do your part.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2020?
Absolutely. This pandemic has taught us the value in technology. In order to attract new students and for transparency with university officials, having and online presence can be the difference between a student choosing your institution as opposed to another.
This has also taught us as a society that internet is a necessity and not a luxury and all students deserve free access to it, and I hope that distance learning expands to create better accessibility for people with disabilities, incarcerated peoples, the elderly and students across the world.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture?
Watch the Yard serves as the premier online platform for HBCUs and Greek Life. I think that it is so important to have spaces that highlight the best and brightest of our students and their endeavors. I also appreciate WTY for its content that markets to potential students on the value and significance of attending our HBCUs.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After graduation I plan to attend a graduate program in Non-Profit Management before attending law school. Most of all I forward for more opportunities to serve my home community and All Mankind.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Ajeune Lynch for her work as the SGA president of University of the District of Columbia.
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