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Leadership Highlight: Texas Southern University’s SGA President Dexter Maryland

Photo Credit: @jonjontraan

In an effort to highlight the people who are leading colleges and universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to Texas Southern University and did an interview with Dexter Maryland 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. Maryland, who is majoring in Political Science, is from Houston, Texas. He is a proud Fall 2021 initiate of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

We interviewed Dexter Maryland, and talked to him about his 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?

One of the biggest things I’ve learned in my role as SGA president so far, this is not a fast paced race its a marathon. There are many obstacles that you will encounter as the #1 advocate for your student body but with persistence and consistency the work can be done. The role of SGA President can be strenuous however the impact of my service to each student on our campus makes it worth every second.

What made you decide to attend Texas Southern University for undergrad?

Texas Southern University chose me, although it was not on the list of school I planned to attend it has proven to be the place designed for my collegiate experience. Upon attending Texas Southern I had many options however none of them gave me the opportunity that TSU did. Texas Southern offered me an opportunity to attend college and graduate debt free. With that I have been able to fully dedicate my attention to the curation of my mind and skill set as I matriculated through out my years as a college student.

How has Texas Southern University molded you into the person you are today?

Texas Southern University has truly cultivated my mind and developed a since of confidence in my that nothing can take away. There have been many growing pains and lessons learned however TSU has served as a space where I could learn and grow while being surrounded by people who was invested in my present state and future. I can honestly say the past four years and my experiences are dedicated to TSU, from being featured on MSNBC to Interning with the Congressional Black Caucus. TSU has developed me to not only be a leader but a selfless change agent in every space I enter.

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?

The PULSE Administration is an administration that is committed to serving the total student and dedicated to developing our students in every aspect of their lives. This year we are heading up a couple of initiatives that will be of great impact to our students and university as a whole. We are currently working to implement a career development roadmap into our university’s curriculum which will allow each student to understand that their degrees are attached to their future. Secondly we have launched a campaign on our campus in partnership with our Career Center that targets ensuring that students on our campus receive internship we have a goal of 1,000 internships in 1 year and once we reach the goal we will host a concert for our student body. Lastly we are working to implement Mental Health stations across campus that will serve as a safe space for students to visit and receive support and guidance through any mental challenges that may face. This is only a portion of what we have planned for our term this year however everything we have planned focuses on allowing students to maximize their resources on campus and to be developed into a young professional ready to seize the world.

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

We are currently developing a concept for mental health stations on our campus that will serve as a space for student to deal with their mental challenges and to also feel their emotions in a judge free zone. As a president I have also allowed members within my administration to create project that target mental health and other issue in that area my External Affairs Vice President Z’qualeus Haynes recents spearheaded a suicide awareness walk promoting both the #ICHOOSELIFE and #YOUMATTER movement. Our administration is actively working to improve awareness on campus when it comes to mental health and I look forward to seeing some of our initiatives come to life as I progress through my tenure.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership is about being devoted to the cultivation and development of others. I believe leadership is selfless and is a service that’s done in expectations of receiving nothing in return. True leaders lead with intention and advocate with true passion that is centered on impacting others.

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

Schools have to think with innovation at the forefront of their minds. In our current time the world of technology and digital marketing changes almost everyday, with that university’s and colleges have to begin to create auxiliaries that are strategically planning for pushing the entire school towards a digital mindset.

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

Watch The Yard allows HBCU students and alumni across America to connect on news, culture and many shared traditions. It’s importance stems from our urge to connect with others who are experiences college through the same lens that we are.

What do you plan on doing after graduation?

After college I plan to become attend grad school obtaining my masters in International Relations, with expectations to become a US Foreign Affairs officer with a mission to build better connection across the world and establish a sense of community on a more grand scale.

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Dexter Maryland for his work as the SGA president of Texas Southern University.

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