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44 SGA Presidents Open Up About Why Watch The Yard is Important to Black College Students

We at Watch The Yard pride ourselves on being at the center of college culture for Black students.

Recently, Student Government Association presidents from across the nation at private colleges, state universities, as well as Historically Black Colleges and Universities opened up about the importance of Watch The Yard to college students at their campuses.

These students represent the apex of student leadership on their campuses. Read what these 2023-2024 SGA Presidents had to say about Watch The Yard below:

Howard University

“In today’s day and age, Watch The Yard holds significance similar to shows like A Different World, Martin, and Living Single in terms of representation and amplification of Black Excellence. It serves as a platform where people can instantly witness Black excellence and the remarkable events occurring across the country. Whether it’s Divine Nine organizations establishing chapters abroad, HBCU students initiating substantial volunteer opportunities, or endeavors like a group of Black women at Howard embracing figure skating and establishing a dedicated organization on campus. 

Watch The Yard stands as a media space committed to showcasing the achievements and strengths of our institutions. This dedication is immensely important to both Black students and the culture of HBCUs.” – Howard University’s SGA President Nia Naylor

Morehouse College

“Watch The Yard is a necessary platform, spotlighting the positive aspects of HBCU campuses. It not only keeps alumni engaged by showcasing current events but also provides prospective students with a glimpse into campus life. For those featured on the site, it serves as a validation of their efforts, encouraging them to continue the impactful work. Ultimately, Watch The Yard plays a crucial role in celebrating and promoting the excellence and achievements within the HBCU community.” – Morehouse College’s SGA President Mekhi Perrin

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

“Watch The Yard serves as a platform that enables Black students to witness the remarkable achievements of individuals with similar backgrounds, fostering empowerment for the next generation of leaders, builders, and doers. Archival efforts to preserve Black legacies, and celebratory recognition of their significant contributions, Watch The Yard contributes to a narrative that inspires and uplifts the Black community empowering people like myself to continue pushing the boundaries and opening doors for others to do the same.” – MIT’s Undergraduate Association President Andre Hamelberg

Jackson State University

“I think Watch The Yard is so important to Black students and college culture in general because of all the positivity it spreads. I’ve been following Watch The Yard since before I got to college and been truly been amazed of all the great work taking place at these HBCUs across America, some of which I would have never heard about without Watch The Yard. The outlet gives students like me the platform to show off our hard work and achievements while also being the resource providing meaningful information to thousands. I’m thankful for Watch The Yard deciding to feature myself along with my other SGA Presidents and I can not wait to read more great articles from them in the future.” – Jackson State University’s SGA President Jason Johnson

Morgan State University

“I strongly believe in the significance of representation and success within the Black community. Witnessing individuals from our community achieve success can be profoundly inspiring and can fuel aspirations for greater achievements. I vividly recall the impact of observing successful students on the page during my senior year of high school, which instilled in me a desire to emulate their accomplishments and strive for greater heights. Additionally, as we move forward, we must preserve spaces and forums that offer solace from the challenges and adversities we face. These spaces are essential for fostering a sense of belonging and community, and it’s vital that we safeguard them as we progress into the future.” – Morgan State University’s SGA President Brooke Foyles

Alabama State University

“Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture because it gives a platform for students to receive news, information, and spotlights within the HBCU community. This is imperative considering it gives one specific area to receive all of the information we may be seeking around our institutions in one location. Watch the Yard, is also something positive that may come across your feed as lot of times, you only receive the drama or negatives of the things that are occurring in the world we live in today.” – Alabama State University’s SGA President Landon Hale

UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles)

“Watch The Yard highlights Black culture through many avenues. From the Divine Nine to leadership spotlights like this, it gives the stage to present Black culture. Young Black people can see themselves and their experiences reflected positively in the media as we collectively celebrate Black excellence. Overall, Watch The Yard serves as a vital resource, helping to uplift, amplify, and empower the Black community.” – UCLA’s SGA President Naomi Hammonds

Dillard University

“I think Watch the Yard is important to Black Students and College Culture because it is important for us to see positive content involving African Americans. We see a lot of content on social media platforms that shows young African Americans in a negative light. This page shows educated, community service centered, young African Americans. Watch the Yard also is a great place to learn more information regarding HBCUs. Growing up in Detroit, many African American students aren’t encouraged to attend HBCUs. This page will allow students the opportunity to learn more about the opportunities that can be found at HBCU. Watch the Yard also post a lot of content involving NPHC organizations. While I am not a member of an NPHC organization, I think it is a very important part of student life and culture on campus. They host community service events, parties, and help to push initiatives like financial literacy, mental health, or even mentor children at local schools.” – Dillard University’s SGA President Lena Uddyback

Clark Atlanta University

“Watch The Yard is an important venue within collegiate culture for our community, providing visibility, representation, and empowerment. Positive narratives, accomplishments, and cultural expressions are highlighted in order to neutralize negative stereotypes and honor the diversity and uniqueness of the Black student body. It also gives Black students a sense of pride and belonging by showcasing their accomplishments and empowering them. Watch The Yard provides networking, mentoring, and teamwork by building community and connections. This provides a supportive environment where Black children may succeed academically, socially, and individually. Everything else considered, Watch The Yard is essential in elevating Black perspectives and experiences in college society, making it a more welcoming and encouraging place for all students.” – Clark Atlanta University’s SGA President Lamin Secka

Hampton University

“Watch The Yard is a true testament and reflection of the beauty nested in HBCUs. The power of Watch the Yard is seen in the signaling of the [platform] on several D9/HBCU related instagrams or the whispers about what’s been posted on our campuses. The organization proves how significant our legacy is as a people and how we embrace it.” – Hampton University’s SGA President Lillian Carr

Morris Brown College

“Watch The Yard gives HBCUss and Black student the platform to not only highlight the success of our Black students, but also share the amazing stories and legacies that some of us share. Not a lot of media outlets and magazines touch on the success of our Black students and schools so it’s a huge deal that Watch The Yard continues to do what they do because if they don’t who will?” – Morris Brown College’s SGA President Syquan Hobes

South Carolina State University

“Watch The Yard is important because it broadcasts Black college life to a larger audience. As a high school senior determining my path to higher education, social media pages like Watch The Yard inspired me to attend a historically black college or university.” – South Carolina State University’s SGA President Zyah Cephus

Tennessee State University

“I think Watch The Yard is important to Black students because it is necessary to be aware of the activities happing across HBCUs. It is essential to keep a network between each institution so that we are growing as a family. This applies to students, organizations, alumni, faculty, etc.” – Tennessee State University’s SGA President Derrell Taylor

Virginia Union University

“Being able to highlight the significance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the experiences of Black students on campus, Black excellence, and the celebration of higher education achievements is vital for providing support to the Black student community. Recognizing their accomplishments on a global scale instills a sense of encouragement and motivation to persevere. Platforms like Watch The Yard play a crucial role in fostering a community of like-minded individuals, offering a platform to showcase their talents and achievements. Knowing that a wider audience is observing and acknowledging our shared goals and aspirations reinforces our collective determination to succeed.” – Virginia Union University’s SGA President Syiyanna Finch

University of West Georgia

“Watch The Yard holds a crucial role for Black students and the broader college culture, primarily through its powerful impact on representation. The platform is the epitome of the principle that seeing is believing—”if you can see it, then you can be it.” By showcasing the richness and vibrancy of Black college culture, from Greek life to academic achievements and cultural events, Watch The Yard serves as a beacon of inspiration and empowerment.

It’s more than just a website or social media presence; it’s a celebration of Black excellence and a testament to the diversity of achievements within the community. This visibility is essential. It provides not only a sense of pride but also a tangible connection to role models and pathways to success that may otherwise seem out of reach. For many students, seeing others who look like them achieving greatness breaks down barriers and fuels their ambition.

Moreover, Watch The Yard plays a pivotal role in creating and nurturing a network of future leaders. By highlighting achievements and providing a space for stories from across the spectrum of Black college life, it plants seeds of possibility in the minds of its viewers. These seeds have the potential to grow into a vast, interconnected network of individuals who lead, innovate, and uplift their communities.

In essence, Watch The Yard is important because it mirrors the best of Black culture and academia, providing a platform for stories of success and resilience that resonate deeply with Black students and beyond. It encourages a sense of belonging and motivation, underlining the message that their dreams are valid and achievable.” – University of West Georgia’s SGA President Tyler McCoy

Prairie View A&M University

“Watch the Yard is important to Black students and college culture because it amplifies and showcases the young Black culture across the nation. Society does not expect African American let alone young African Americans to be involved in the community. Watch the Yard not only amplifies the voice, but it provides a platform for undergraduate NPHC sorority and fraternities to display their achievements and connect with others on uniting our communities into greater.” – Prairie View A&M University’s SGA President Gabrielle Orji

Lincoln University of Pennsylvania

“Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture because it provides an inclusive platform catered to highlighting and accurately representing successful Black students and student-led organizations at HBCUs, thus enriching college culture by increasing connectivity amongst Black college students nationwide.” – Lincoln University of PA’s SGA President Hashone Carry Jr.

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

“I believe Watch the Yard is essential to the the Black student experience both at HBCUs and PWIs due to its emphasis on how HBCUs, D9 Fraternities and Sororities help cultivate some of the most impactful leaders of our generation. Watch the Yard serves as a hub where Black excellence is both honored and celebrated by all. This is a community built by and for people of our culture. In having a community that not only celebrates but highlights phenomenal students of African descent like myself, it helps further increase the excitement for college and showcases the possibilities that higher education holds for future generations to come.” –Cheyney University of Pennsylvania’s SGA President Kishore Owusu

Xavier University of Louisiana

“Watch the Yard is very important to Black students and college culture because it is an outlet and a center for Black excellence. Watch the Yard represents the excellence that is embedded within Black culture. The experience of an HBCU is so unique and must be valued and cataloged. I believe that Watch the Yard does a wonderful job of collecting the gems from our culture each day. Because of platforms like this, the history of Black students and our culture will forever be remembered, treasured, and held as a standard for continues growth.” – Xavier University of Louisiana’s SGA President Kennedy Carey-Prescott

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

“Watch The Yard is very important for Black students in college because it is a space that specifically highlights student life and all the achievements of the Black community. Without spaces like this especially living in a digital age, we wouldn’t have many spaces as Black college students to showcase our excellence.” – University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s SGA President Cairo Harris

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

“Watch the Yard provides a platform for Black students to connect within our organizations and celebrate each other’s achievements. Especially in places where outlets highlighting Black excellence are scarce, which is disheartening considering the abundance of such accomplishments. However, Watch the Yard consistently fills this void by creating a space for recognition. Additionally, it offers us the opportunity to gain insights into how other organizations operate at different schools, serving as a source of inspiration and learning. These platforms play a crucial role in empowering students like myself, providing a platform to showcase our talents and reminding us that our efforts are valued and recognized. They serve as a beacon of encouragement for Black students, urging us to persevere despite the challenges we may face.” – University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s SGA President Awa Mbai

Kennesaw State University

“I think Watch The Yard is a very important part of the Black community and our culture because it offers Black students examples of what they can accomplish if they just take a shot at something they are interested in. Due to the history of oppression and being excluded, it is a media source that is a safe space for Black college students to connect and learn from one another through our unique stories.” – Kennesaw State University’s SGA President Zae Brewer

Mississippi Valley State University

“Watch The Yard is an important film that sheds light on the experiences of Black students at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). It delves into the complexities and challenges they face while navigating college life, offering a unique perspective on the dynamics and culture of these institutions. Here are some reasons why Watch The Yard is important: 

1. Representation and Validation: Watch The Yard provides a platform for Black students to share their stories and experiences, which are often underrepresented in mainstream media. By showcasing the HBCU experience, the film validates the experiences and struggles Black students face, giving them a voice that often goes unheard. 

2. Cultural Identity and Pride: HBCUs are renowned for their strong sense of cultural identity and pride. Watch The Yard captures the essence of this culture, showcasing the traditions, rituals, and values that are unique to HBCUs. The film celebrates and preserves this rich legacy, giving Black students a sense of identity and belonging. 

3. Brotherhood and Sisterhood: HBCUs often foster a strong sense of brotherhood and sisterhood among their students. Watch The Yard highlights this bond by showcasing the rivalries, friendships, and alliances that form between fraternities and sororities. The film portrays the positive impact of these social organizations on students’ sense of belonging, support, and personal growth. 

4. Cultural and Social Activism: HBCUs are known for their rich history of cultural and social activism. Watch The Yard explores this aspect, highlighting the student-led movements and initiatives that challenge societal norms and fight for social justice. The film highlights the importance of activism and civic engagement within the HBCU community, inspiring students to continue advocating for positive change. 

5. Overcoming Challenges and Resilience: Watch The Yard portrays the resilience and strength of Black students as they face various challenges and obstacles throughout their college journey. The film showcases the perseverance and determination required to succeed academically and personally, providing Black students with inspiration and motivation to overcome their own obstacles. 

In conclusion, Watch The Yard is important not only to Black students but to the entire college culture. It sheds light on the experiences, traditions, and challenges faced by Black students at HBCUs, offering representation, validation, and a platform for their voices. The film also celebrates cultural identity, brotherhood, sisterhood, cultural activism, and resilience, providing viewers with a deeper understanding of the HBCU community.”

Mississippi Valley State University’s SGA President Cajanique Ollie

Middle Tennessee State University

“Watch The Yard is crucial to Black students and college culture as it provides a digital platform for celebrating Black excellence, achievements, and cultural heritage. It serves as an international safe space, offering a sense of community and belonging for Black students worldwide while amplifying their voices and accomplishments. Through its diverse content and supportive network, Watch The Yard fosters empowerment, inspiration, and solidarity among Black college students, affirming their identities and contributions to academia and society.” – Middle Tennessee State University’s SGA President Michai Mosby

Valdosta State University

“I believe that it is important for young Black students to see themselves highlighted for their accomplishments, and I believe Watch The Yard does a tremendous job at that. As a younger student, being able to see other young Black men and women achieve their goals was inspiring for me. For me to now have the chance to share my story, and be apart of that is truly an honor to say the least.” – Valdosta State University’s SGA President William Burnett

Lane College

“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.” –Lane College’s SGA President Malek Lockhart

North Carolina A&T State University

“Watch The Yard is great for representation of HBCU students!!” – North Carolina A&T’s SGA President Jasmine Amaniampong

Langston University

“Watch The Yard Is important to Black students and college culture because they continue to highlight the beauty within. There are several outlets that tear us down as a community and Watch The Yard makes an effort to push the positive and tell our story from within. We must take control of the narrative that is placed on Black students and college culture and that starts with how we display ourselves and highlight our successes.” – Langston University’s SGA President Nathanael Rakestraw Edwards

Miles College

“Watch The Yard plays a significant role in Black students’ college culture by serving as a platform for celebration, empowerment, and community building. Overall, Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture because it celebrates Black excellence, empowers students, fosters community, and advocates for positive change, ultimately contributing to the enrichment and advancement of the Black college experience.” – Miles College’s SGA President Caleb Moore

Johnson C. Smith University

“Watch The Yard significantly influences the experiences of Black students within college culture, nurturing a strong sense of community. This dedicated platform offers positive representation by spotlighting shared experiences, challenges, and successes, acting as a reflective mirror showcasing the diverse achievements, leadership, and cultural richness of Black students. The impact of Watch The Yard extends to encouraging young students to understand the significance of attending an HBCU. By emphasizing the empowerment and pride that Black colleges instill, the platform inspires individuals not only to excel academically but also to play active roles in their campus communities.” – Johnson C. Smith University’s SGA President Sydlie Fleurimond

UNC Charlotte

“Because it connects cultures and identities from across the nation (and world) into one space of love and support. It’s a safe space for Black students, Black greeks and everyone who wants to appreciate all that African American culture and talent has contributed to the youth and our communities.” – UNC Charlotte’s SGA President Tife Olusesi

University of Central Arkansas

“I think Watch The Yard is extremely important to Black students and college culture. It is a place that highlights black Greek leaders/students in their academic adventures. It is a network that connects people everywhere and highlights the importance of being Black and educated. Everyone wants to be featured (on Watch the Yard) and everyone wants recognition. It is a platform that unites people of color no matter where you are or what university you go to.” – University of Central Arkansas’ SGA President Colby Wilson

Edward Waters University

“Watch The Yard holds a special significance for Black students and college culture because it portrays us positively and showcases our successes. It’s a source of pride and inspiration, providing a space where we can connect with other Black students and share our experiences. Witnessing fellow Black students excel on Watch The Yard is not only motivating but also instills a sense of confidence and belief in our own abilities. It’s like having a supportive virtual community that uplifts us throughout our college journey, reminding us of our gifts and potential.” – Edward Waters University’s SGA President Patricia Johnson

Wichita State University

“Watch The Yard is important to Black Students and college culture because it serves as a platform for celebrating the achievements and contributions of Black Students. It provides a space for Black students to connect, share experiences, and build community across campuses nationwide. Additionally Watch The Yard highlights the cultural heritage and traditions of historically Black colleges and Universities and other institutions like predominantly White Institutions with significant black student populations. Overall, it promotes solidarity, fosters a sense of belonging, and amplifies Black voices and experiences within higher education.” – Wichita State University’s SGA President Iris Okere

University of Arkansas Pine Bluff

“It keeps the viewers informed of the positive light shed on our perspective institutions.” – University of Arkansas Pine Bluff’s SGA President Trent Wills

New Jersey City University

“Watch The Yard is a platform that shows more than BGLO strolling on campus and doing what the ‘typical’ students do. Watch The Yard broadcasts the future generations of Black students from both PWI and HBCUs. It is a platform that shows excellence beyond the realm of what students think of. It keeps the culture of Black students alive, in which we are able to connect with students from different campuses, share our experiences, and do what our ancestors could only dream of.” – New Jersey City University’s SGA President Ruth Diegue

Philander Smith University

“I think Watch The Yard is so important because of its influence and how it emphasizes the importance of culture on HBCU campuses across the world.” – Philander Smith University’s SGA President Savana Mars

Towson University

“By telling Black stories, Watch the Yard inspires and empowers future generations to pursue their dreams and positively impact their communities. In a society where Black voices are often marginalized or misrepresented, Watch The Yard is a staple of representation and pride and fosters a much-needed sense of belonging and solidarity among Black students and college culture.” – Towson University’s SGA President Jordan Colquitt

Elizabeth City State University

“Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture because it provides a platform for showcasing the achievements, experiences, and perspectives of black students on campus. For many people like myself, Watch The Yard could be their first glimpse into what life is like at an HBCU or college in general. Watch The Yard gave me an idea of things I could look forward to once I got to college because it showed different aspects of college life. Watch The Yard fosters a sense of community and solidarity among black students by sharing stories that resonate with their own lived experiences and struggles and serves as a valuable resource for promoting visibility, representation, and empowerment within college communities.” – Elizabeth City State University’s SGA President Jay’Quahn Blackledge

Southern University at New Orleans

“I believe Watch The Yard is essential to Black students and college culture because it exposes the nation to the value of a college education and the history and importance of African American Greek life. This platform effectively utilizes social media to showcase different experiences and opportunities for pursuing post-secondary education, especially in HBCUs. Watch the Yard is steadfast in showcasing Higher Education and collegiate excellence.” – Southern University at New Orleans’ SGA President Dana Bailey

Rowan University

“Watch The Yard is important to Black Students because we are in the midst of crucial turning points in our lives where we live with a double consciousness. Trying to succeed in a nation that creates barriers for people of color to do the exact opposite. During college a lot of students of color are learning to, if they have not already mastered, code switching so that they are not taken over by imposter syndrome. In times like this students of color forget their importance, value, and uniqueness because it isn’t advertised as much. Watch The Yard gives Black students a sense of something they can relate to in college. No matter if you’re at an HBCU, PWI, or Community College. Watch The Yard opens the door for Black students to feel like they have a place to be transparent of their experience with people who look like them, as well as transparent with their selves. Watch The Yard is important to Black students because it reminds us of that sense of culture that is easy to forget when you’re surrounded by people who don’t have the mental capacity to understand what it is to be a Black College Student.” – Rowan University’s SGA President Brianna Reagan

Auburn University at Montgomery

“Watch The Yard plays a crucial role in the lives of Black students within the college culture. It serves as a platform that connects us with other colleges, fostering a sense of unity and shared experiences. By showcasing the achievements and experiences of Black students across various institutions, it provides us with inspiration and motivation to strive for excellence.

It highlights the resilience and determination of Black students, underscoring their journey towards academic success despite the challenges they encounter. It reinforces the message that our struggles are not insurmountable and that we are capable of overcoming any obstacles that come our way.

In essence, Watch The Yard is more than just a news and media platform ; it’s a testament to Black excellence and a beacon of hope for Black students navigating their college journey. It reminds us that our experiences, while unique, are part of a larger narrative of Black students’ resilience and triumph in the face of adversity.” – Auburn University at Montgomery’s SGA President Sierra Powell

Rider University

“Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture because it highlights the diverse and unique accomplishments of Black students nationally. Keeping Black students connected no matter where we go, we can appreciate meeting someone from our institutions and organizations. The content that is posted embodies Black pride and the appreciation for the past, present, and future of Black students. Watch The Yard displays the relevance of HBCUs and the Divine Nine Organizations to our cultural development.” – Rider University’s SGA President Naa’san Carr

Berry College

“Watch The Yard is so important because it ignites passion. Watch The Yard confirms that we deserve to be in higher education and that our culture is beautiful, and it is appreciated every day. It gives hope to know that we are overcoming obstacles every day and that we will be okay. While I am at a Predominately White Institution (PWI) it is important for Black Students to be passionate to create change at their institution as well. This platform is an important part of the Black Community because it allows the elders of our generation to see that the younger generation of Black Students are keeping the torch alive.” – Berry College’s SGA President Alexis Mitchell