In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to Kentucky State University and did an interview with Kierra Donald 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. Donald, who is majoring in Political Science & Mass Communications, is a current junior.
We interviewed Donald, and talked to her about her 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 thing I’ve learned as Student Government Association President so far is that no one expects you to have all the answers to every problem or fix things beyond your control, but they do hold you accountable for how you respond to them. A President that falls while trying to find a solution is better than one not doing anything at all.
What made you decide to attend Kentucky State University for undergrad?
I chose Kentucky State University for a number of reasons: the first being the full-ride scholarship I received to attend; secondly, my parents both attended and met at Kentucky State; and most importantly, Kentucky State is a family — we grow with each other, help each other and love each other. Upon coming to Kentucky State, I realized how historically-rich, beautiful and nurturing she was, and I’ve been in love ever since!
How has Kentucky State University molded you into the person you are today?
Coming in as a Freshman, I knew I wanted to be involved, and there were plenty of opportunities to do so. Students and faculty members aligned me with opportunities on campus that leaned into my strengths and allowed me to grow academically and socially. Kentucky State has provided me with mentors, advisers, teachers, friends and opportunities that have put me out of my comfort zone in order to learn, adjust and represent myself, my family and my University in the best and most professional way. I’ve had the opportunity to go to a number of different places because of KSU. If it weren’t for this university, I wouldn’t be the leader I am today.
What specific initiatives have you headed up this year and how do you think they will improve the school and surrounding community?
One major initiative that was headed up this year was BredTalks, Kentucky State University’s own rendition of TedTalks used to both inform students and create spaces for them to discuss everyday topics among themselves and student leaders. It highlights our differences while emphasizes what truly brings us together.
How is your school currently responding to the coronavirus and what is your SGA administration doing to help students?
The university as a whole is reminding students and staff that we are stronger together than we are apart, using #togetherBREDS. Our Division of Student Engagement and Campus Life, in collaboration with students, professors and organizations on campus are holding virtual weekly scheduled events purposed to keep us connected and interacting with one another. The weeks include TikTok challenges, men’s and women’s support groups, Aux battles, mental health discussions, and the like. SGA steadily works with University administration to keep students informed during these uncertain times and of course help students stay engaged in the fun!
How is the coronavirus affecting SGA elections for next year?
Due to COVID-19, our campaign season is being held online and is currently happening this week! The current campaign is strictly for the student governing positions. The Royal Court will pick up a separate campaign season in the fall semester.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership to me is being an example others can learn from, and hopefully, surpass. Leadership isn’t simply a position to be held, it’s a way of life that’s shown in how we treat others, make others feel and the impact we leave on the world.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2020?
To keep up with the times I believe that schools need to be more interactive online. This means have virtual tours for students who aren’t able to go on traditional college tours, especially with the pandemic currently happening, take footage of events on campus and post them online so that students can truly get of feel of who you are and what you represent.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture?
Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture because it provides relatable content and networking opportunities for consumers already in college or graduated from college and it gives consumers looking to come to college a realistic representation of what it is, means and looks like to be in school.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After graduating from Kentucky State with my Bachelors in Political Science and my Bachelors in Mass Communication in May 2021, I plan to simultaneously get my masters in public policy and my J.D. (jurisprudence doctorate). I will be a policy-maker focusing on education reform in my hometown, primarily focusing on the South and West sides, striving to be a pillar in my community and show kids like me that education isn’t a waste of time but rather a way to get them more opportunities for their future.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Kierra Donald for her work as the SGA president of Kentucky State University.
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