In an effort to highlight the people who are leading colleges and universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to Georgia Southern University and did an interview with Alexis Belvin 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. Belvin, who is majoring in Health Services Administration, is from Atlanta. She is a proud Fall 2021 initiate of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
We interviewed Alexis Belvin, 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 that I have learned as an SGA President so far is that you should stay true to yourself and what you stand for. Within this role, people will try to compare you to previous presidents or even to what they think the ideal president should be. Never allow yourself to be boxed up or framed around the opinions of others, because your ideas and ambitions are what got you into the role, and will help you achieve greatness during your term.
What made you decide to attend Georgia Southern University for undergrad?
I originally decided to attend Georgia Southern because that’s where some of my family is from. I wanted to be far away from home to where I have some independence, but still in a place where I can always call up a family member for a helping hand. Furthermore, being that I come from a military household, Georgia Southern University as a whole is surrounded by many military friendly towns and businesses.
How has Georgia Southern University molded you into the person you are today?
Georgia Southern University has molded me into my most confident self. Within my time here, I have been a part of a pageant, spoken at commencement ceremonies, events, and have been the face of the student body. The opportunities I have gained here have allowed me to truly step out of my comfort zone, and go for the things that I want. I am no longer fearful to speak in front of a crowd, or be the first to do something; I have gained self confidence through the opportunities I have received during my time here.
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?
Being that this is my second term as SGA President at Georgia Southern University, I plan to continue the initiatives that I started from my first term: Eagles Call and the Pink Walk. Eagles Call is a memorial service that I started that recognizes all students, faculty, and staff members who passed away during the academic year. This is now an institutional wide event that will be held annually in the Spring at Georgia Southern. The SGA Pink Walk is a walk and memorial service aimed to bring awareness to breast cancer and to honor survivors, those who are battling breast cancer, and those who have passed away. This year I am planning on making the Pink Walk bigger than before with the help of other organizations on campus through partnerships. I believe that these events will improve the school and surrounding community as they are aimed at bringing awareness and recognition to the people who make up our community: students, faculty, and staff.
How is your SGA administration/school currently working on attending to the mental health of students?
Currently our SGA is looking at better ways to approach mental health. This includes seeking out help from the Counseling Center on how to develop programs that will be effective for our students. We currently have an event scheduled with the Counseling Center for mental health called “The Mind Retreat” that was created by one of our members. My goal for SGA is to have all of the members of the organization QPR trained by the end of the year. Thus far, we have been briefed over the H.E.R.O Folder which contains information on how to help someone in crisis, and what are the signs of someone in a crisis. As the academic calendar has already been set for the year in advance for the University, we plan to find a way to have a designated mental health day during the Fall and Spring semesters where students can participate in different activities to relieve stress.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership means being in a role to influence and motivate others. I believe that leadership isn’t something that shouldn’t be taken lightly as your actions shape the direction of where you are trying to move others towards a common goal. Furthermore, your actions mold the image of how you appear to others. The most important part of leadership is listening and learning from others.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2022/2023?
As society turns into a social media world, I believe that schools should refocus their marketing efforts towards what students are utilizing. For example, using Tik Toks or reels to get important information across can have a lasting effect compared to a simple post. Furthermore, staying in touch with the current trends on social media. When the “Little Miss/Mr/Mx” trend came out, our SGA quickly hopped on and we received over 2.6K hits! This is a prime example of what I think schools should do to represent themselves in this growing social media age.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture?
I believe that Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture because it gives them a chance to be recognized at a national level. In the south whenever you hear about college life, you normally hear about predominantly white institutions or PWIs. Furthermore, when you look at advertisements of colleges there is a lack of diversity in promoting the achievements of black students other than how they perform on the football field, track, or basketball court. I believe this overshadows the talents of black students who are excelling in academics and in various parts of the University. Therefore, having a platform like Watch The Yard is a pivotal step towards recognizing that Black excellence goes beyond sports; we’re achieving things beyond what televisions see. We are excelling, and we are breaking barriers. I believe it’s important that we get that praise or recognition for the things that don’t make it to the press.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to pursue a Masters degree in Health Services Administration in hopes to work my way up to be a hospital President or CEO.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Alexis Belvin for her work as the SGA president of Georgia Southern University.
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