In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to Wilberforce University and did an interview with Jalen Dickerson 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. Dickerson, who is majoring in Psychology, is a current senior.
We interviewed Dickerson, 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?
The biggest things I have learned thus far while serving as SGA President is that it is more than obtaining a title. This position is truly about having a heart for the student body and ensuring the student body’s voice is heard. Being the SGA President has been a challenge in many ways but serving the students is what continues to keep me motivated. My passion for the student body means more than anything!
What made you decide to attend Wilberforce University for undergrad?
I love to say with Bulldog pride that “I did not choose Wilberforce… Wilberforce chose me.” I fell in love with Wilberforce the moment I step foot on their campus. Wilberforce is a small institution but has a mighty big heart! Wilberforce gave me a chance when others did not and for that very reason, I am extremely grateful!
How has Wilberforce University molded you into the person you are today?
Wilberforce has molded me into the person I am today by teaching the methods of leadership. Without the amount of support I have received from the institution, I honestly do not believe I would have made it this far. The administration, students, faculty, and staff all have a heart for the students and want to see them succeed.
What specific initiatives have you headed up this year and how do you think they will improve the school and surrounding community?
The specific initiatives that I have facilitated this academic school year include monthly student body meetings, Wilberforce Get Out and Vote Campaign, Man Cave Wednesday’s, and promotion of Business Wednesday’s. I believe these initiatives will continue to improve the university’s school spirit, check and care for mental health, showing why is it important to vote, and lastly to always receive monthly issues that students are having.
How is your school currently responding to the coronavirus and what is your SGA administration doing to help students?
Wilberforce is currently responding very well to the needs of our students as it pertains to the COVID-19. Our President continues to update our student body via social media and emails. This has shown that he truly cares about the well-being of our student population. Currently, my SGA cabinet has surveyed to see what students need resources, we have purchased and provided students with tablets, we have worked with the academic affairs office to create a modified grade system, and we are continuously having an open conversation with the President and his cabinet.
How is the coronavirus affecting SGA elections for next year?
The coronavirus has taken a toll on our SGA elections this year but will not stop us from proceeding with elections. This election will go down in history. I believe that it has a great benefit for those to truly think outside the box for their campaign.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership is more than having a title! You can be a leader with or without a title. Leadership means everything to me. Being a leader means you have a passion to advocate, change, and make a difference.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2020?
I believe that this is the perfect time for institutions to take full advantage of being online. If institutions think in a creative direction this will help institutions grow across the world.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture?
I believe Watch the Yard is important to the black student and college culture because it gives open insight to all HBCU’s across the nation. Furthermore, it is important for black high school students because they are able to witness the culture of a black community.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
I plan to attend graduate school to receive my master’s degree in Psychology.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Jalen Dickerson for his work as the SGA president of Wilberforce University.
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