This article and interview is sponsored by ETS and the GRE® General Test and done in collaboration with Watch The Yard. Click here to learn more about the benefits of taking the GRE® General Test.
In an effort to highlight the people who are leading colleges and universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard teamed up with the ETS and the GRE® General Test and reached out to Khayree Hasan the Student Government Association president of Savannah State University for an interview about campus leadership.
The position of SGA president of an HBCU is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. Hasan, who is majoring in Middle Grade Education, is a Fall 2019 initiate of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
We interviewed Hasan, and talked to him about his tenure in his position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in 2021.
Read the full interview below.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned as an SGA president so far?
During my time as President I would say that I’ve learned to use my time wisely and practice patience. The position calls for attending many meetings, hosing events, as well as continuing to be a scholar, which made me more responsible with my time .
What made you decide to attend Savannah State University for undergrad?
In the beginning, I did not have much knowledge of Savannah State. It was never in my top 5 but I was told to consider it as a back up. All of my other options fell apart so I decided to give Savannah a try even though I had never seen or visited the campus. When I did get to travel though, the beautiful campus of and the people I met at orientation solidified my decision to attend. It was the only place I had been to that sat on a Swamp Marsh. I was attracted to the colors, the city, and the overall campus vibe I received. The campus community is very family oriented because it is a smaller HBCU and the weather is amazing so it became home.
How has Savannah State University molded you into the person you are today?
Savannah State has taught me maturity on many different levels. Since attending, I have grown my leadership skills tremendously while also networking with people that I will never forget. I learned to be open to new opinions and to uplift all whom you come across. Savannah State has taught me that nothing in life will ever be easy and that there will be times when unexpected things happen. It is how you respond to the adversity that matters. Savannah State has molded me into someone that is interested in the African American culture. This university inspired me to step outside of my comfort zone and learn to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations.
What specific initiatives have you headed up this year and how do you think they will improve the school and surrounding community?
The recent election season really made a big difference on our campus. We had more students engaged in the voting process and made an effort to ensure they were educated about what we were voting for. SGA, Alpha Phi Alpha, NAACP, and other organizations hosted tables and virtual events to increase the awareness of the presidential and Senate elections. Our biggest event came from the Collegiate 100 black men of Savannah State. They were able to put together a drive in rally that consisted of speeches and appearances from local government officials. Dr. Jill Biden also made an appearance and gave encouraging words. I believe this event shifted the community and allowed students to see how strong their voice really is in elections. This ultimately led to Savannah being one of the contributors of turning Georgia into a Democratic state.
How is your school currently responding to the coronavirus and what is your SGA administration doing to help students?
Savannah State has implemented social distancing guidelines that protect the faculty, staff and students. Classes have been of a hybrid variety and dining facilities have decrease their capacity to prevent any outbreak. Our SGA administration has been committed to encouraging students to stay safe both on and off campus and be optimistic about our current situation. We have attempted in-person events with limited number of students and have been successful. With the help of our Student life division, we have been able to host engaging virtual events that satisfy the student body and keep our campus safe.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership means making hard decisions for the best interest of others. As a leader you are the person that everyone trusts to take care of the problem or concern of the people. Leadership is doing what’s morally right, being honest, and having integrity.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2021?
To compete in the digital world, schools should increase the amount of promotion and advertisement. Schools have to become creative. Students are interested in media, so different elements like graphics and music that relate will keep them interested.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture?
Watch the Yard is important because it exposes the college culture and experience to those who may never get the opportunity. It also gives students the chance to showcase where they come from, who the represent, and how we are connected in some way .
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After graduation I will begin my career in education and I plan to enroll in a masters program for educational leadership.
You are going to grad school, why do you think it is important to take the GRE® General Test?
Taking the GRE is important because it widens the opportunity for a student like myself to gain resources and entry into a graduate program. Graduate school is a goal of mine because it will help strengthen my knowledge in my area of study and I believe it will help set me apart opening new opportunities for advancement. Furthering my education is especially important because it will add value to my professional career and will give me a sense of accomplishment .
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Khayree Hasan for his work as the SGA president of Savannah State Univeristy.