In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to Miles College and did an interview with Keila Lawrence 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. Lawrence, who is majoring in Chemistry, is a current senior and a Fall 2018 initiate of Alpha Kappa Alpha.
We interviewed Lawrence, 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?
I learned that a position is nothing without the people that support it: the students, the cabinet and administration. An amicable relationship with all is necessary to enact any change on campus. I am thankful that I was surrounded by love and support on my campus.
What made you decide to attend Miles College for undergrad?
Choosing Miles was one of the easiest decisions of my life. My twin sister and I both received full academic scholarships to Miles; we both decided to attend so we did not add any financial burdens on our parents. Little did I know, I would fall in love with Miles and become a student leader.
How has Miles College molded you into the person you are today?
Every life-changing opportunity that I have received is because of Miles. I was able to travel to Israel three times in the past four years because of Miles. I became the leader I am today because of Miles. I met my best friends at Miles. For all of these reasons and more, I am forever indebted to Dear Old Miles.
What specific initiatives have you headed up this year and how do you think they will improve the school and surrounding community?
My cabinet and I revised our Student Government Association Constitution. Resulting from the amendments, we were able to lower the GPA requirements for all elected positions and establish the position of Mister Miles College. This allows for a more student to be qualified for campus leadership.
Miles College is a small, private liberal arts institution. That being said, we cannot have an immense SGA budget because we do not have an immense student population. The majority of the budget is used for Homecoming and in order to have a great homecoming and great events throughout the school year, we fundraised. If other SGA cabinets were to follow suit, they would see that they are not strictly limited to the budget that they are given and can expand their ideas beyond that.
How is your school currently responding to the coronavirus and what is your SGA administration doing to help students?
Miles College evacuated the campus last month to ensure the safety of all students. Out-of-state students were given travel grants so that there was no barrier in them returning home. We have now transitioned into a virtual campus. There have been online meetings with our President and Provost so that no questions went unanswered.
My cabinet and I are currently working with the administration to identify students who need technological assistance and to provide them with tablets.
How is the coronavirus affecting SGA elections for next year?
Luckily, our SGA and Royal Court Elections are held early in the spring semester and were not affected by the coronavirus.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership means knowing peoples strengths and allowing them to shine. The best leaders in the world are the ones that use their power, but use it to the advantage of followers: allowing other people to grow in ways they never imagined.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2020?
I believe certain schools are represented online, but it is extremely apparent that not all schools are represented. Institutions need to make sure their websites are updated and are easy to navigate for current and prospective students. Though social media is not necessary, it is a guaranteed way to represent your institutions to prospective students.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture?
Watch The Yard showcases black excellence in every facet and function on campuses across the world. They make sure HBCUs, Divine 9, and organizations defined by African Americans are and remain relevant in today’s society. Those featured by Watch The Yard realize that their hard work and ambition do not go unrecognized and the examples they have made will assuredly be followed.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
By the grace of God, I am moving to Washington D.C. I am currently applying for jobs and graduate programs.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Keila Lawrence for her work as the SGA president of Miles College.