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Leadership Highlight: Longwood University’s SGA President Haleigh Pannell

In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate universities  across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to [Insert School] and did an interview with Haleigh Pannell 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. Pannell, who is majoring in Psychology, is a current senior and a Spring 2018 initiate of Alpha Kappa Alpha.

We interviewed Pannell, 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? 

How to take everyone’s opinion into consideration to form something concise to bring to administrators when decisions need to be made.

What made you decide to attend Longwood University for undergrad?

I played on their Division 1 lacrosse team, on my official visit I fell in love with how Longwood makes you feel like family. 

How has Longwood University molded you into the person you are today?

Longwood is all about citizen leadership and community so I was earned many opportunities to lead my peers and help us focus on making campus feel home to students and open to the community. It also showed me that I can hold any position that anyone else can. There’s never been a minority woman SGA President at Longwood before me, but now that I’ve made history at Longwood. I know I can work to do that other places as well.

What specific initiatives have you headed up this year and how do you think they will improve the school and surrounding community?

I worked on transparency by live streaming our meetings and accessibility by having a virtual form where students could turn in comments, complaints, and/or questions. I also hosted 2 SGA meetings in the Moton Museum in the town because it is a historic building and is an institution of the civil rights movement. I also communicated a lot with our minority populations to make sure they felt represented on senate since I am the first minority female to be SGA President at Longwood

How is your school currently responding to the coronavirus and what is your SGA administration doing to help students?

Our student workers are still getting paid based on their average hours worked through the semester. Housing and meal plan refunds were given because we had to close down our residence halls. Parking pass refunds.

How is the coronavirus affecting SGA elections for next year? 

We had less voter turn out unfortunately, but our elections are always online so it didn’t affect too much.

What does leadership mean to you?

To lead is to serve. It’s not about the title or the glitz and glamor, it’s about serving others to make communities better.

We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2020?

Be on the platforms their students are on so that they can monitor when there are complaints and also spread positivity to the student body

Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture? 

Watch The Yard helps highlight the great things about black excellence across the country and reminds me of how many amazing black students we have in this nation. It connects us all so that no matter if you go to an HBCU or a PWI you can feel connected to our experiences and culture

What do you plan on doing after graduation?

I plan to attend law school and then either work for the innocence project or go into politics to identify and change laws that are systematically oppressive

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Haleigh Pannell for her work as the SGA president of Longwood University.

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