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Leadership Highlight: Hampton University’s SGA President Lillian Carr

In an effort to highlight the people who are leading colleges and universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to Hampton University and did an interview with Lillian Carr the 2023-2024 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. Carr, who is majoring in Strategic Communications/ Leadership Studies, is from Tampa, FL. She is a proud Spring 2023 initiate of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

We interviewed Lillian Carr, and talked to her about her position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in 2023-2024.

Read the full interview below.

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

Through serving as SGA President, I’ve learned that it’s important to establish ministry in any role that you take on. You have to be a vessel that allows people the comfort to talk to you when they are trying to find the words or if they need a shoulder to lean on. I’ve learned the true meaning of favor and how you must cherish every single moment, no matter how big or small, that you are blessed to receive.

What made you decide to attend Hampton University for undergrad?

I decided to attend Hampton because I wanted to attend an institution where I would be the majority. Growing up a military child, I’ve always been in the minority population fighting for my voice to be heard. I knew that by attending hampton, I would be choosing myself and the legacy to follow me. It was a true opportunity to take my power back and engage in a program that would be meaningful to my future, meet the most incredible people, and enjoy college life to its fullest.

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

Hampton is every reason that I am who I am today. Because of Hampton, I am confident in a way that I never imagined. I firmly believe that if there isn’t a seat at the table for me, it doesn’t matter because not only can I make one, but go and be the table wherever I am meant to be. I’ve always been a lover of people but I now have a heart that longs for creating memories that will withstand this lifetime. I love being a Pirate and how my Home by the Sea has truly enabled me to be the standard of excellence.

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?

I have worked diligently to enhance the student experience for Hamptonians. This year, I chaired the homecoming committee, elevating the entire homecoming experience and supporting students in receiving an artist of their choosing. Additionally, during SGA week, a number of programming was provided to students where some had the opportunity to receive an IPad. SGA scholarship winners received additional funding through our efforts to ensure we are doing our part in supporting the students. I implemented the first annual Ignite Your Hampton Essence Student Conference and aided in development of the Student Judiciary Committee. Because this administration has worked extremely hard, I could be listing our work for decades. As the semester closes, I hope to continue increasing outdoor seating areas for students and improving our overall accessibility.

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

Wellness Days are extremely important to my student body. Every semester students are offered one which allows them to take time to reset, rejuvenate, and relax. Additionally, we recently were awarded the SheCare Wellness Pods by Taraji P. Henson and other affiliates. Through this implementation, students have the opportunity to engage in amazing workshops and recenter their aura. Students also have the opportunity to attend the counseling center on a regular basis, as well as mental health days in their respective classes.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership is the true essence of who I am. Its meaning was instilled in me at a very young age and over time, I’ve learned that leadership is a calling, not a passion. When you are called to lead, in any capacity, you must rise to the occasion and take heed to your instruction. The core of this value is service. You can’t be a leader without the heart to serve. If you can learn to implement servant leadership in all you do, there is no stopping.

We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2023/2024?

Schools should be doing their part in taking advantage of using social media as a tool. We live in a digital world so it is important that our schools maneuver with the times and take action in creating a strong platform. Without investing in establishing brand awareness, many target audiences could be lost.

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

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 page 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.

What do you plan on doing after graduation?

In the Fall of 2024, I will be attending Harvard to pursue a Master of Divinity and Juris Doctor dual degree program.

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Lillian Carr for her work as the SGA president of Hampton University.

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