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Leadership Highlight: Tuskegee University’s SGA President Parris Clayton

Photo Credit for this article: @leek.editz @visionary_art_photography @Parker.images

In an effort to highlight the people who are leading colleges and universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to Tuskegee University and did an interview with Parris Clayton 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. Clayton, who is majoring in Sales & Marketing, is from Atlanta, GA. She is a proud Spring 2022 initiate of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

We interviewed Parris Clayton, 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 I’ve learned thus far is, you honestly cannot please everyone. As much as I’d love to get everyone’s favorite artists, solve every problem that exists, it just isn’t always realistic. However, beauty is in your effort, and I will always promise to be persistent if nothing else.

What made you decide to attend Tuskegee University for undergrad?

I chose Tuskegee University because it genuinely felt like a warm, embracing hug during my visit. Although I lived in Atlanta for half of my life, I moved to Texas at 14 so a homey environment was vital for me as an only child and someone moving so far from home.

How has Tuskegee University molded you into the person you are today?

Tuskegee has molded me into someone who is persistent and goal-oriented. Although I’ve always been someone who has been an overachiever, Tuskegee has opened my eyes to tap into my true potential. It’s molded me into someone who isn’t scared to stand alone and stand firm on what I want out of life.

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?

Right now, my administration and I are really focused on bringing the student culture back to campus. With COVID, many of our students relocated to Auburn and surrounding areas, and it really kind of ruined what makes the Golden Tiger Experience. We really want to get back to that as well as improving marketing efforts to encourage others to attend our beautiful and illustrious university.

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

Mental health is super important to myself and my cabinet, so right now we’re trying to encourage administration to continue mental health days for the students because it is a necessity. Also just continuing the conversation with administration because sometimes they truly don’t see what the students are going through.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership to me means being able to lead and to follow. I’ll never trick myself into thinking that I have all the answers because no one person does and that’s why I love my cabinet because we all bring such different skill sets that create a beautiful masterpiece.

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

I think all universities should definitely looking into social media advertising, it’s not a new concept however, we are going through a surge. TikTok is such a powerful way of marketing and it takes almost little to no effort. I think schools should be more collaborative with the students to showcase the experiences we have especially at HBCUs because we need enrollment now than ever.

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

Watch The Yard is important because it showcases the great things that black people are doing around the world. It shows how we can be influential and great beyond our HBCU campuses, it’s necessary for impressionable black children to see examples like that because they may not alway grow up around the best influences.

What do you plan on doing after graduation?

I plan on starting a full-time role, prayerfully in the South!

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Parris Clayton for her work as the SGA president of Tuskegee University.

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