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Leadership Highlight: University of West Georgia’s SGA President Sydney Severin

In an effort to highlight the people who are leading colleges and universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to University of West Georgia and did an interview with Sydney Severin 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. Severin, who is majoring in Finance and Marketing, is from New Orleans. She is a proud Spring 2022 initiate of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

We interviewed Sydney Severin, 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?

The biggest thing I have learned is that you have to depend on those around you. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. I have noticed that I would experience burnouts when I would try to tackle multiple tasks at once but once I started utilizing the people around me, I would be better off mentally.

What made you decide to attend University of West Georgia for undergrad?

I believe that my university was focused on the student experience, holistically. Once I toured my university, I truly believed that my campus was my home away from home. This is due the the time commitment professors pour into students, the home-y feeling, and acknowledging there is a financial burden that incoming freshmen face. To solve this issue, my university provides students with “Scholarship Day” for prospective students which is extremely beneficial.

How has University of West Georgia molded you into the person you are today?

Attending a PWI as an African American female, aspiring to make changes has presented issues of its own. Being able to overcome any obstacle that may present itself to me has allowed become more humble and appreciative to my circumstances.

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 started the “Eat w/ SGA” initiative at my university. This allowed all students to eat for free with the hopes that they are able to provide us with one thing the university can improve on and one thing the university should maximize.

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

There are numerous initiatives my university is implementing to tackle the mental awareness epidemic students face. We have provided the Counseling Center phone number on the back of student IDs, relocated counseling services to a more central location, provided mental health training across campus, and ensure that we are mentioning the struggles our students face at the beginning, middle, and end of the semester.

What does leadership mean to you?

I believe that leadership is the way someone carries themselves that inspires other to want to make a difference or implement change. Being able to see a vision throughout hardship and still obtain the end goal is the importance of leadership.

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

My university needs to acknowledge that students are no longer willing to “get up and get active”. This generation has become comfortable with living behind a screen. Instead of embracing the past, we need to prepare for the future. Provide incentives for students to be active either virtually or give them a reason to leave their dorm or apartment.

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

I believe Watch The Yard provides a space for African Americans to embrace our culture and organizations. NPHC organizations were created as safe spaces during a time of great segregation and I believe that Watch The Yard shows the beauty of all D9 organizations in a positive way.

What do you plan on doing after graduation?

I plan on working as a Financial Planner while pursing my Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration on Business Intelligence.

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Sydney Severin for her work as the SGA president of University of West Georgia.

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