In an effort to highlight the people who are leading colleges and universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to Alcorn State University and did an interview with Patrick Mason the 2020-2021 Student Government Association president.
The position of SGA president is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. Mason, who is majoring in Biology Pre-med, is a Spring 2019 initiate of Alpha Phi Alpha.
We interviewed Mason, and talked to him about 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?
The biggest thing that I have learned as SGA president is to be light on my feet. Especailly during a pandemic because everyday something is changing whether it is a new protocol or new procedure. Also I has improved my time management skill because being SGA president I am always in meeting or have to speak at an event while managing my school work and social life.
What made you decide to attend Alcorn State University for undergrad?
I didn’t decide Alcorn State University. It decided me I know that sound cliché but it is true when I came to visit Alcorn I didn’t know what to expect but when I finally got here I knew it was where I belonged. Everyone made me feel welcome and that made me feel like family. Even my mom felt the same way she knew that I would thrive and succeed here and that I was in good hands.
How has Alcorn State University molded you into the person you are today?
Alcorn State university brought something out of me that i didnt know I had. Which was being a leader. It made me open minded and also not be afraid to put myself out whether I would succeed or not . The people at Alcorn uplifted me and challenged me to be greater and alway kept me on my feet never letting me let my guard down.
What specific initiatives have you headed up this year and how do you think they will improve the school and surrounding community?
One specific event/ invitiative I have is a male empowerment event called Check Your Bagage which is basically show that it is okay to show you emotions and that positive mental health is important and that seeking help if you fell that something isn’t right is okay to do. I felt that this will help the male population at Alcorn because it is something that isn’t really talked about. This is especially true because we are in a pandemic and people are suppressing their emotion and thoughts.
How is your school currently responding to the coronavirus and what is your SGA administration doing to help students?
Currently on campus we do have rapid testing available on campus for those who are showing symptoms. Also classes are on a hybrid schedule ( which is in person one day on line the other or how every the teacher sees fit). We also have sanitizing stations located in each building as well and a crew comes in at the end of the day to sanitize the building.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership is giving your all on a project. Being a leader is being that ear for someone to talk to. Being the shoulder to cry on. Helping others when help is needed. Finding a solution or coming to a compromise to a situation.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2021?
I think that a school should know how to work all social media platforms. They should know how to keep you attention, when it comes to fliers and videos. Also know what platforms your students mainly use. Know how to communicate and delegate on each of the platforms.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture?
Watch The Yard is important to Black students and college culture because it share idea and it show black excellence on a whole different scale.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
I plan on going to Graduate school where undecided yet. Then I plan on going to medical school.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Patrick Mason for his work as the SGA president of Alcorn State University.