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Leadership Highlight: Langston University’s SGA President Jessica Sweet

In an effort to highlight the people who are leading colleges and universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to Langston University and did an interview with Jessica Sweet the 2022-2023 Student Government Association president.

The position of SGA president is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes in being elected by their peers to lead. Sweet, who is majoring in Health , Physical Education, and Recreation, is from Lawton, Oklahoma.

Photo Credit: Marius Lee / @Leemedia.grad

We interviewed Jessica Sweet, and talked to her about her position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in 2022-2023.

Read the full interview below.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned as an SGA president so far?

So far the biggest thing I have learned as an SGA President is to never underestimate the impact that you have. Even when you feel as if nobody sees the work that you are doing, there is somebody that is inspired by you.

What made you decide to attend Langston University for undergrad?

I knew that I wanted to remain close to home while being able to attend an HBCU. There is only one HBCU in the State of Oklahoma. As soon as I stepped foot onto the campus of Langston; I felt at home.

How has Langston University molded you into the person you are today?

Langston has molded me into the person that I am today by simply allowing me to be myself. These past four years have been some of the best years of my life. Langston provides a family environment that I wouldn`t have found anywhere else. Langston has helped me gain friends who push me to walk in my purpose every day.

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

Our SGA administration has been in the works of planning a handful of initiatives. One initiative that we are in the process of planning is centered around our university`s approach to mental health. Several factors affect our mental health as students. We as student leaders would like to see more resources offered on campus. We are also working to draft a proposal for mental health days to be a part of our school calendar. I think this will improve our school community by giving our students the outlets that they need to better their mental health. I feel as if the same could be said for our surrounding community because I would love for these resources to be shared with the town of Langston as well.

How is your SGA administration/school currently working on attending to the mental health of students?

My SGA administration is currently working on attending to the mental health of students by first changing the approach that we take regarding mental health. My SGA administration has been taking in feedback from the student body to see how we can provide more resources and cater to the mental health of the student body.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership means being the person who has to be okay with doing the background work. . Leadership is acknowledging that you cannot lead if you haven`t followed. It means holding yourself and others accountable even when it makes you uncomfortable. Leadership means stepping out of your comfort zone and using your privilege for the betterment of the people you lead.

We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2022/2023?

I think that schools need to be more creative in their online representation. We live in a generation full of content creators. Many of these creators are students who attend HBCUs. This is the perfect opportunity for students to gain exposure and for the schools to find new ways to produce content that represents their students.

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

I think that Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture because it showcases the unity between HBCUs. It provides many opportunities for us to network as well. Watch The Yard serves as inspiration for black students no matter their aspirations in life.

What do you plan on doing after graduation?

I am planning on teaching while I work to get my Master`s degree. I will then go for my Doctorate of Physical Therapy.

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Jessica Sweet for her work as the SGA president of Langston University.

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