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Leadership Highlight: Clemson University’s SGA President Malik Balogun

In an effort to highlight the people who are leading colleges and universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to Clemson University and did an interview with Malik Balogun the 2022-2023 Student Government Association president.

The position of SGA president is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes in being elected by their peers to lead. Balogun, who is majoring in Industrial Engineering, is from Powder Springs. He is a proud Fall 2020 initiate of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

We interviewed Malik Balogun, and talked to him about his position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in 2022-2023.

Read the full interview below.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned as an SGA president so far?

During my time as Student Body President, I have really learned the importance of surrounding yourself with good people. The company you keep is very telling of the trajectory of your success, and I feel like I’ve done a great job surrounding myself with an intelligent, driven, and caring team that works well together and understands what it means to be a servant leader.

What made you decide to attend Clemson University for undergrad?

The family-like feeling of the community of Clemson University really drew me in. I had been on the campus a few times growing up because my mother was an alum, and every time I came, the people, whether that be the students or the faculty, always made me feel welcome and at home. The love I developed for the university and the campus over the years made it an easy decision when it was time to apply to colleges.

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

Clemson University has really amplified my love to serve. Because so many people at Clemson have poured into me, I have such a strong desire to do the same for the people and the community that I serve. From my very first day on campus as a student, the call to serve has been ingrained into me and has developed me into the servant leader I am today.

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

This year we’re hoping to do more advocacy for resources across campus. A lot of students aren’t aware of the tools that they have at their disposal during their time at school and by just putting a spotlight on an organization or a resource on campus that supports students, I hope we can make a positive change in their experience.

How is your SGA administration/school currently working on attending to the mental health of students?

There are various mental health initiatives and resource advocacy projects in motion, but one of the best ways that my administration has identified ways to improve mental health on campus is by focusing on the student experience. Having events that get students connected with each other and allow for them to develop bonds will help bolster the overall mental health of the student body. Students are best mentally when they have that sense of belonging and feel connected to the student body and our goal as student government is to facilitate that.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership to me is having the ability to lift those around you and bring the best out of them. I always think of leadership as being able to set the direction toward the goal and push your team along the way to achieve it.

We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2022/2023?

I think schools can really take advantage of this generations affinity to the internet by bringing the campus experience to their internet presence. A lot of students don’t get the opportunity to tour or interact with campuses before they make their decisions but now universities have the opportunity to sell students on why they should come to their school using the internet.

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

Watch The Yard is extremely important to Black students because it serves as the central point of black collegiate content. Just scrolling through the Watch The Yard page you can get a good laugh, find some entertaining content, learn something new, or even connect with the people who interact with the posts. The page serves as a unifying place where Black excellence gets to be highlighted and celebrated, and I think that is very much needed.

What do you plan on doing after graduation?

After I graduate from undergrad I plan to go to graduate school to finish my Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering and pursue a career in Consulting.

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Malik Balogun for his work as the SGA president of Clemson University.

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