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 Louisiana at Lafayette and did an interview with Destiny Broussard 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. Broussard, who is majoring in Human Development and Family Sciences with a minor in Criminal Justice, is from Opelousas, La.
We interviewed Destiny Broussard, 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?
As SGA President, I have learned how to always implement diversity, inclusion, and to remember that everyone does not view through the same lens as you. In this position, you have to be willing to adjust at all time and be a voice for the whole student body, not just one population. I have also learned how to effectively communicate with administrators, and be a liaison for my students. This role has showed me that’s its okay to fight for what you believe because it does not get solved immediately the conversation of how starts.
What made you decide to attend University of Louisiana at Lafayette for undergrad?
I decided to attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for the culture and family oriented atmosphere given to me during my Preview Day. During that time, it allowed me a closer look at academic programs, campus life, and the admissions process. UL Lafayette has changed my peers to become more active and more involved in the community/campus. I knew UL Lafayette would be where I left my mark as I lived by the following quote, “Start Unknown, Finish Unforgettable” until I graduate in May of 2023.
How has University of Louisiana at Lafayette molded you into the person you are today?
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has taught me how to be the successful woman I am today. With the 200+ student organizations it has given me the opportunity to learn how to advocate, discipline, structure, and gained lifelong mentors.
Being a black woman at a PWI is not easy as I have exceled and reach limits that has never been done before due to my persistent to better the college experience for students. I have learned that every great leader encounters failure for these are teachable moments to encourage us as individuals to keep pushing because everything happens for a reason.
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?
Our mission with the help of my Big Three(E-Board) is to provide students with an all-encompassing college experience by broadening the horizon of what’s possible on campus and the community area. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is excited to have achieved R1 status and to take our place among the top tier of the nation’s research universities. We will strive to encourage consistent retention rates, leadership skills, campus safety, and community involvement.
1. Student Concert – As we would like to provide a free student concert with a in-demand music artist. Our population of students have been waiting for this moment as they deserve this from being in a pandemic, stressed about class, re-gain sense of connection , and other reasons.
2. Community Service Project within the UL System – The University of Louisiana System is one of the largest higher education systems in the country. The University of Louisiana System is a public, multi-campus university system dedicated to the service of Louisiana and its people. I have established a community Service Project called “The Shoe-Box Program” where each of the nine university in the system will be collecting a particular item. Once these items are collected we will come together as a system to package each shoe-box will 9 essential items that will be delivered to our local community shelters just in time for the Christmas Holiday.
3. Diversity and Student Center – The center will work hand-hand with our Office for Campus Diversity with campus and community partners to cultivate an inclusive learning environment, one that values different perspectives and promotes intercultural engagement. As UL Lafayette strive to create a diverse and inclusive community in which all members feel valued, respected and able to reach their full potential.
How is your SGA administration/school currently working on attending to the mental health of students?
We have a free Counseling & Testing Center available for student to use instead of going to outside sources that would require payment. Also, we have many student organizations that are centered around being a support system and family bonding experience.
SGA is working hand and hand with the Office of the President and the Student Affairs’ Office to observes Mental Health Day with games, seminars, emergency training, activities and hope.
What does leadership mean to you?
To me, leadership is the ability to lead others by modeling the way. Leaders must especially lead the young as I hope to inspire women and children to be the best version of themselves and dream big. To be a leader, one must have integrity, communicate in order to build relationships (networking), and have respect for others on their opinions.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2022/2023?
The effective use of digital learning tools in classrooms can increase student engagement, help teachers improve their lesson plans, and facilitate personalized learning. It also helps students build essential 21st-century skills. Social Media is a all time high for communicating on various topics and situations. This resource or platform can help to access learning anytime and from anywhere rather than students coming to campus to use desktops for software such as Adobe.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture?
Watch The Yard highlight Black Excellence at its finest. We witness individuals experiences and success stories from all over the country that help mentor the community to be great leaders. This content helps encourage me to be a prominent, educated, thriving black student leader at my university. Watch The Yard also shows the importance of the Divine Nine Organizations.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on attending SUNO, LSU, or UNO to earning an MBA in Social Work.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Destiny Broussard for her work as the SGA president of University of Louisiana at Lafayette.