In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to Dillard University and did an interview with Traelon T. Rodgers 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. Rodgers, who is majoring in Urban Studies and Public Policy, is a current junior and a Fall 2019 initiate of Kappa Alpha Psi.
We interviewed Rodgers, 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?
During my time as SGA President I’ve learned that not every problem has an immediate solution. Sometimes hasty decisions will do more harm then it will help, slow and steady wins the race.
What made you decide to attend Dillard University for undergrad?
Dillard was a family environment, I went to several college visits and was accepted into 15 schools. The staff and students at Dillard were welcoming and I had a full tuition scholarship so that was another plus.
How has Dillard University molded you into the person you are today?
Everyday at Dillard you’re bound to learn an invaluable lesson. I have learned humility, compassion and structure.
What specific initiatives have you headed up this year and how do you think they will improve the school and surrounding community?
This year our administration was named the People’s Administration, I wanted to make student government as transparent as possible. This year we focused on the wellbeing of the students. Over 70% of Dillard Students are Pell Grant eligible, so we sponsored tickets for students who could not afford to go home, we advocated for a franchise vendor on campus and we also advocated for the use of restorative justice in the student conduct board.
How is your school currently responding to the coronavirus and what is your SGA administration doing to help students?
Dillard has done a great job to help students that have been displaced or don’t have the means to keep up. The University did not force any students to leave and has keep most functions open for the sake of the students. As a SGA we have done our best to advocate for provisions for students such as, pro-rated housing, Pass/Fail grading system as well as helping students get home and securing laptops for those who do not have them.
How is the coronavirus affecting SGA elections for next year?
We held our elections prior to the outbreak so we were able to have them effectively.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership is compassion, vision and direction. Leadership means to press on even when it doesn’t feel fun, but most importantly leadership means that someone is counting on you. A leader with no followers is merely taking a walk.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2020?
In the digital world things are always evolving, in order to effectively maintain a presence digitally, the universities need a strong communications and marketing department.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture?
Watch The Yard gives the world an opportunity to see what it means to be a black student in college and the successes and struggles we face regularly. The history is rich and the news is up to date.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
I am studying for the LSAT and I intend on going to law school after.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Rodgers for his work as the SGA president of Dillard University.
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