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Leadership Highlight: Lane College’s SGA President Malek Lockhart

Photo Credit: Charence Brice (@charence_brice)

In an effort to highlight the people who are leading colleges and universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to Lane College and did an interview with Malek Lockhart the 2023-2024 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. Lockhart, who is majoring in Business Administration, is from Nassau, The Bahamas. He is a proud Spring 2023 initiate of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

We interviewed Malek Lockhart, and talked to him about his position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in 2023-2024.

Read the full interview below.

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

As SGA President, my term has taught me the profound value of perseverance. It’s not merely about enduring challenges but embodying resilience, authenticity, and purposeful action. Each day, showing up with unwavering commitment, remaining true to oneself, and pushing forward despite obstacles has become a testament to the power of perseverance. Furthermore, it’s about fostering inspiration in others through consistent dedication and meaningful progress. This journey has unveiled the transformative potential inherent in steadfast determination, reaffirming the significance of perseverance as a guiding principle in leadership and life.

What made you decide to attend Lane College for undergrad?

In 2021, amidst my final year at Jordan Prince Williams Baptist High School in Nassau, The Bahamas, a significant milestone illuminated my educational journey. I was nationally acknowledged for my academic prowess, and was bestowed with the “Emerging Leader Award” by the Iota Epsilon Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. This accolade not only honored my achievements but also heralded a new chapter in my academic pursuit. With immense gratitude, I embraced the accompanying Presidential Scholarship to Lane College, an opportunity that transcended mere education; it transformed me into a first-generation college student, paving the way for boundless possibilities and a legacy of black excellence.

How has Lane College molded you into the person you are today?

Lane College has been instrumental in shaping the essence of who I am today, unveiling the depths of my potential in a profoundly personal way. The faculty and staff, unwavering in their support, continuously breathed life into my aspirations, instilling in me a belief in my capabilities. Surrounded by a close-knit community that fosters encouragement, I am reminded daily to stride confidently with my head held high. Beyond imparting a quality education, Lane College has broadened my worldview, cultivating within me a profound sense of responsibility towards the Black community. It’s more than an institution; it’s a beacon of empowerment and enlightenment.

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, one of the significant initiatives I spearheaded was the restoration of our sandpit, transforming it into a vibrant outdoor campus volleyball venue. This initiative not only revitalized a neglected space but also fostered a sense of community and wellness among students. By providing a recreational area for outdoor sports, we encourage physical activity and healthy lifestyles. Moreover, hosting events like volleyball tournaments in this revitalized space promotes social interaction and camaraderie among students, enhancing campus culture.

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

This year, The UNCONQUERED administration has taken a proactive approach to address the mental health needs of our student body by establishing a chapter of Active Minds, an esteemed intercollegiate mental health nonprofit organization. Through this initiative, we are providing a platform for students to openly discuss mental health challenges, access resources, and participate in awareness-raising activities. Additionally, our school has expanded counseling services, implemented peer support programs, and organized mental health workshops to equip students with coping mechanisms and support networks. By prioritizing mental health initiatives, we are fostering a campus culture that values well-being and supports the holistic development of our students.

What does leadership mean to you?

I believe that leadership embodies the art of igniting inspiration and fostering growth in others. It’s about imparting wisdom, and challenging individuals to surpass their perceived limitations. Rather than simply achieving personal success, it’s about cultivating a culture of collective achievement and empowerment. Leadership entails demonstrating through actions and words the boundless possibilities available to everyone. It’s about creating an environment where individuals feel encouraged to strive for greatness and are supported in their endeavors. Ultimately, leadership at the collegiate level requires inspiring and uplifting others to reach their fullest potential.

We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2023/2024?

I think that schools must leverage digital platforms to showcase their unique strengths, academic excellence, and vibrant campus life to a global audience. A comprehensive website that highlights the institution’s historical significance, academic programs, esteemed faculty, and student achievements is essential. Active engagement on social media platforms allows schools to connect with prospective students, alumni, and supporters, fostering a sense of community and pride. Moreover, investing in digital learning platforms ensures equitable access to quality education, particularly in light of the increasing prevalence of online learning. Virtual events, webinars, and alumni networking sessions provide opportunities for engagement and collaboration, transcending geographical barriers.

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

Watch The Yard is vital to Black students and college culture as it serves as a dynamic platform for celebrating achievements, promoting unity, and amplifying voices within the Black community. Through captivating content, it highlights the diverse experiences, accomplishments, and traditions of Black students at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and beyond. By sharing stories, showcasing excellence, and fostering connections, Watch The Yard empowers Black students to embrace their identity, inspires pride in their heritage, and cultivates a sense of belonging in a broader cultural landscape. It’s a beacon of representation, affirmation, and community for Black students navigating higher education.

What do you plan on doing after graduation?

After graduation, my aspirations include securing a stable job, embarking on a journey as a serial entrepreneur, and pursuing a master’s degree in finance. With each venture, I envision myself pushing boundaries, innovating, and making a lasting impact. I aim to create ventures that not only thrive financially but also contribute positively to society.

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Malek Lockhart for his work as the SGA president of Lane College.

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