In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to Texas Southern University and did an interview with Marcus L. Nash Jr. 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. Nash, who is majoring in Science in Kinesiology, is a current senior and a Fall 2018 initiate of Kappa Alpha Psi.
We interviewed Nash, 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?
One of the biggest things I’ve learned while being SGA president so far is to never settle. Do not let the words “not good enough” keep you from achieving and believing in yourself. Be an advocate for the students in which I serve, stand up and speak out for greatness and excellence, and to never settle for what status quo is just because something isn’t working.
What made you decide to attend Texas Southern University for undergrad?
Growing up college wasn’t even a thought. I never had a dream school, because I wanted to go the Air Force. I honestly applied for college two months before high school graduation. I chose Texas Southern University because several members of my family attended this university, so it would only be right to continue the legacy. When I took my first tour of the campus and walked on the Tiger Walk, I automatically knew that this was the right campus for me.
How has Texas Southern University molded you into the person you are today?
I can honestly say that college is a time that’s all about self-discovery. It’s a time of change, acceptance, and embracing every curve ball that life throws at you. My collegiate journey has been an enriching experience from becoming a student leader, studying abroad in Africa twice, becoming a Forbes Under 30 Scholar, following all the way down to the trials and tribulations I faced that made me want to give up. Texas Southern University has provided me with the necessary tools to graduate and go anywhere in the world and excel.
What specific initiatives have you headed up this year and how do you think they will improve the school and surrounding community?
Student Government Association took the lead in campus community voters registration which impacted the decision to hold the National Democratic Debate on campus and a voting poll on campus. My administration also partnered with the division of Student Services to create a Food Pantry on campus called Tiger Mart, where students will have access to food as well as professional dress clothes for interviews.
How is your school currently responding to the coronavirus and what is your SGA administration doing to help students?
Texas Southern University has taken all safety precautions regarding the Coronavirus. The university has been closed down and all students were required to move out of the Residential Facilities and return home. During this time Student Government Association has used the remainder of our budget $32,000 to award students that couldn’t afford to get home, so that they could return back home to their families. We also partnered with the division of Student Services to give out 500 hot spots to students in need of internet access, and we are doing virtual activities with the students to keep them engaged.
How is the coronavirus affecting SGA elections for next year?
Coronavirus has tremendously impacted our election season this year. It is forced all of us to become very creative in ways that we approach the students to get them to vote. It has also caused us to move our Mister and Miss Texas Southern University Scholarship Pageant to an online vote, just for this year. It was a hard decision to make but we all felt that the show must still go on. In true tiger fashion our students adapted to make things work for the greater good, even though it was a hard thing to do.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership means a few different things. One, I think it means you bring others around you up. Great leaders have a way of supporting others and making them more productive and effective. Two, I think leadership means you put people in the right place at the right time. Third, leadership means you trust and respect those that you work with or represent. I have a quote that I live by from John C. Maxwell and it states “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2020?
Now that the digital world consists of schools, I believe for them to effectively represent themselves online is to be completely transparent, actively posting relevant news and updates, also keep up with what is going on in the world. They should always keep in mind the perspective of the students. I think schools would have to become more creative in the approach of connecting with their students. It’s something that’s always said, they should meet us where we are, and we’re on social media, phones, and computers all the time so it’s just a form of adapting to this new generation. I think it’s still more training needed for students, faculty, and staff so we are well-equipped to do virtual learning.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture?
I believe that Watch The Yard is important because they serve as strong pillar in the black community by highlighting the Black college experience. Watch The Yard allows people from all over the nation to hone in on other black individual’s college experiences as they’re shared.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After graduation, I will be accepting my full-time job offer as well as furthering my education in an online Masters in Business Administration program.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Marcus Nash Jr. for his work as the SGA president of Texas Southern University.