In an effort to highlight the people who are leading colleges and universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and did an interview with Brenda Caldwell the 2020-2021 Student Government Association president.
The position of SGA president is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. Caldwell, who is majoring in Political Science, is a Spring 2020 initiate of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
We interviewed Caldwell, and talked to her about her position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in 2021.
Read the full interview below.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned as an SGA president?
The biggest thing I’ve learned as SGA president is how to adapt to unexpected changes and push through and succeed. Because of the pandemic, all of the plans and ideas I had for my term as president had to be reimagined to fit the virtual space.
What made you decide to attend North Carolina A&T for undergrad?
I basically grew up on A&T’s campus, my parents both went here and my grandfather was the band director here until 2004 so I spent a great deal of time at football games, band practices, and battle of the bands. My senior year of high school I knew I wanted to attend an HBCU and I received a full academic scholarship to NCAT so it all worked out perfectly.
How has North Carolina A&T molded you into the person you are today?
My time at A&T has transformed me from a shy girl who was afraid to speak up to a confident woman who is unafraid to make my voice heard in this world. So many people poured into me and made sure I knew that what I had to say was valuable, and I have the power to change situations I’m unhappy with.
What specific initiatives have you headed up this year and how do you think they will improve the school and surrounding community?
During the election season my administration and I put together several events to get students registered to vote and educated on what would be on the ballot. I’ve also done a few things to open the lines of communication between students and university administrations, including doing another “Blue and Gold Table Talk” which was an idea my predecessor Allison Gilmore came up with to give students an opportunity to speak directly with the Chancellor and members of his cabinet.
How is your school currently responding to the coronavirus and what is your SGA administration doing to help students?
NCAT has done a pretty good job keeping our COVID numbers low and I think that is because of the precautions the university has taken. We haven’t had any in person events, so my administration and other student organizations have had to get really creative and think of ways to engage our student body virtually.
What does leadership mean to you?
To me, leadership means being a voice for all of the people you’re representing, being inclusive of all ideas, and being willing to have those difficult conversations on behalf of your constituents.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2021?
I think schools need to utilize social media and other digital outlets to showcase what makes their university special. This means showing prospective students both the academic side of college life, but also the student life across campus.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture?
Watch the Yard is important to Black students and college students because it’s a platform that shows off the positive things we’re doing on our campuses and gives high school students an opportunity to see the greatness that they can look forward to achieving when they go to college.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
I will be attending law school after graduation with the goal of becoming a labor and employment attorney. I also want to use my legal education to be an advocate for marginalized communities in our country and speak out against injustices we see daily.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Brenda Caldwell for her work as the SGA president of North Carolina A&T.