In an effort to highlight the people who are leading colleges and universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to Columbus State University and did an interview with Curtis Walker 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. Walker, who is majoring in English is a current Junior and a Fall 2020 initiate of the Theta Beta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
We interviewed Walker and talked to him about his 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 so far?
The biggest thing I have learned as SGA President is how to collaborate and reach out to other organizations to help with a common goal. This year has been very challenging for students and faculty, but through strong leadership and communal engagement we have been able to come closer.
What made you decide to attend Columbus State University for undergrad?
I chose to attend Columbus State because of the university’s focus on meeting the needs of each student. The professors work diligently to ensure their students not only understand the material they are learning, but provide opportunities and connections that go beyond the classroom. Columbus State desires, as our motto states, that every student be able to “create themselves” during their undergrad years and with CSU’s resources, students can certainly do that.
How has Columbus State University molded you into the person you are today?
Columbus State has certainly molded me into a better leader. A key value at CSU is servant leadership and through the Center of Servant Leadership I have learned more about myself, how to meet the needs of the communities I serve, and how to inspire new leaders from the work I’ve done.
What specific initiatives have you headed up this year and how do you think they will improve the school and surrounding community?
As an Exec Board we have headed up a number of special initiatives. Going into the fall semester we wanted to ensure our student body that their safety would be a top priority during this time of COVID. We held town halls and open forums prior to returning to campus that allowed students to question and hear from university administrators and health professionals that could explain the necessary changes being made to our campus. Our Exec Board has also worked diligently with other campus organizations to increase campus involvement. Using our creativity to restructure campus life as we knew it, but engaging with the student body in a safe yet exciting way.
With 2020 being an election year, our Exec Board focused on promoting civic engagement, political literacy, and political involvement amongst students at CSU through a series of events and campaign projects. We also wanted draw attention to social justice, working with students to not only address the issues but also find safe ways to make change. We hosted a week of Advocacy, Alliance, and Activism, better known as Triple A Week, in which SGA and other organizations discussed and displayed ways to make our voices heard, how to show support, and how to make a difference for social justice.
How is your school currently responding to the coronavirus and what is your SGA administration doing to help students?
Columbus State has worked diligently to ensure the safety of students and faculty. During the summer, CSU worked with SGA in discussing how our campuses would function while following CDC guidance. Upon moving in or by the first day of classes, students were given face masks. We have switched classes to a combination of hybrid and completely online courses during the fall semester, and have restructured safe in person classes for the spring semester. We have also worked hard to be as transparent with our students as possible. This way students are aware of the severity of COVID-19 but are also reassured by the university’s honesty and strict policies that serve to protect students.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership to me goes back to a quote I learned in a Servant Leadership course. “Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy.”
We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2021?
All schools should develop a strong social media presence. This is a simple yet effective way to connect the students, alumni, prospective students, and donors with the school while providing vital information.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture?
Watch The Yard gives non-Greek students an inside look into Greek Life. It highlights the power of Greek unity, campus involvement, and service to our communities.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
Following graduation I plan to attend law school in hopes of practicing civil rights law.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Curtis Walker for his work as the SGA president of Columbus State University.