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Leadership Highlight: University of Central Arkansas’ SGA President Colby Wilson

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 Central Arkansas and did an interview with Colby Wilson 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. Wilson, who is majoring in Health Sciences with a Minor in Public relations, is from Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He is a proud Spring 2022 initiate of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

We interviewed Colby Wilson, and talked to him about his 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?

Being the SGA President at the University of Central Arkansas has given me so much, but the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that to lead you have to know how to follow. In leadership positions, I’ve learned you will not know all the answers to everything, and just because you don’t know doesn’t mean that you are any less of a leader. Every day you have to be willing to learn something new because you have so many people who are counting on you. I am beyond blessed to have an amazing executive staff who help me beyond measure.

What made you decide to attend University of Central Arkansas for undergrad?

I chose the University of Central Arkansas honestly, because of my friends. I am originally from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and I knew I wanted to be away from home. When I made my decision, it was tough because my entire family went to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. I had no earthly idea that the decision would change my life forever. I stepped out on faith, and it has become the best decision I have ever made.

How has University of Central Arkansas molded you into the person you are today?

Being at UCA has helped me view the world differently. Being away from home was a different experience for me. It taught me how to survive and do things on my own. It made me more responsible and has helped develop me into the student leader I am today. Being a black man at a PWI has had its challenges, but it has helped me navigate the world in a way that makes me appreciate diversity, equity, and inclusion like never before.

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?

This year alone, the SGA at the University of Central Arkansas has done a lot of good for the campus community, as well as the Conway community. We have hosted events that focus on students first such as resume workshops, Our Food for Fines program, our campus safety walks, feminine product drives, rape care kits for the local hospitals, community improvement projects, raising funds for the university, and so much more. We like to call out values STIC, which stands for Service, Transparency, Integrity, and Community.

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

UCA does a good job of addressing students’ concerns. To combat mental health, we have a lot of different programs and events in place. For SGA specifically, we’ve done survival kits for finals week, given stress balls to students, and participated in a stress-less fest where we provided punching bags for the event. In terms of the university, they host things like Wellapalooza, exam jam, late-night breakfast, provide stress pets, and have a plethora of other events and interactions to try to alleviate the stress we face as college students.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership to me is the way you carry yourself when no one is watching. Leadership is still understanding that I have a title even when I take off my at the end of the day. My JROTC instructor told me that leadership is not like a nine-to-five job. It is 24 hours, 365. It never stops. You always have to understand that someone is looking at you to be an example. I like to think of it as the weight of the world on my shoulders.

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

I think that social media is a great tool in terms of growing your social platform at colleges and universities. I am a proponent of social interactions and I think institutions that take the time to get out in front of students’ faces are a great asset to a University. The first thing students do when they decide to consider a school is go to social media and find the school’s page. I think it’s important for schools to put out content that makes them unique, and show their campus life, and student interaction.

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

I think Watch The Yard is extremely important to Black students and college culture. It is a place that highlights black Greek leaders/students in their academic adventures. It is a network that connects people everywhere and highlights the importance of being black and educated. Everyone wants to be featured (On Watch the Yard) and everyone wants recognition. It is a platform that unites people of color no matter where you are or what university you go to.

What do you plan on doing after graduation?

I am currently an applicant for the Dental hygiene program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. I plan on pursuing a career in dentistry.

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Colby Wilson for his work as the SGA president of University of Central Arkansas.

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