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Leadership Highlight: The University of Alabama’s SGA President Demarcus Joiner

In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate universities  across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to The University of Alabama and did an interview with Demarcus Joiner 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. Joiner, who is majoring in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Pre-Law, is a current junior and a Spring 2018 initiate of Alpha Phi Alpha.

We interviewed Joiner, and talked to him about his 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?

Given that I have only been the SGA President for a couple of weeks, this unique experience has provided me with the opportunity to understand that there will be many obstacles and adversities in life that we cannot control, but it is our response to these obstacles and adversities that matter the most. 

What made you decide to attend The University of Alabama for undergrad? 

Being that I was a resident of Alabama, I have cheered for the University of Alabama for many years. However when it came time to decide on a college, I felt that the University of Alabama understood the importance of serving as a melting pot for students from around the world.

How has The University of Alabama molded you into the person you are today?

The University of Alabama has afforded me with many opportunities that have helped mold me into the person I am today. I have served on many committees, worked with administration, but I believe working with students and serving as an advocate for minority students taught me more than many of these committees ever will.

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

This year we are planning on partnering with an app that will allow students the opportunity to speak with a counselor via technology at any time day or night. We hope this app will help decrease the wait times at our counseling center as well as end the stigma around Mental Health.

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

Our school has taken large steps to make sure that all students are safe. The university has created a fund for students in need while also providing housing for students that did not have the means to leave. SGA also has a needs based fund that students can access that will help with any needs they have.

How is the coronavirus affecting SGA elections for next year? 

Coronavirus came to Alabama shortly after elections; therefore, it affected inaugurations and meetings, but we have been blessed to continue everything via Zoom.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership is an essential part to any organization that consists of the basic soft skills, but to me, leadership means understanding the impoortance of possessing the invaluable skills of empathy, sympathy and listening.

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

Given that we live in a digital world, I believe schools need to enhance their social media presence and ensure that it is an accurate representation of all student life.

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

As a freshman, many black students follow Watch The Yard because it showcases black excellence around the world, and I believe it is important becuase it still gives us hope that the future is still bright for all of us.

What do you plan on doing after graduation?

Upon graduation, I plan on attending law school and obtaining my juris doctorate.

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Demarcus Joiner for his work as the SGA president of The University of Alabama.

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