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Leadership Highlight

Leadership Highlight: Southern University at New Orleans’ SGA President Dana Bailey

In an effort to highlight the people who are leading colleges and universities across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to Southern University at New Orleans and did an interview with Dana Bailey the 2023-2024 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. Bailey, who is majoring in Social Work, is from New Orleans.

We interviewed Dana Bailey, and talked to her about her position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in 2023-2024.

Read the full interview below.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned as an SGA president so far?

The biggest thing I learned as SGA President is that nothing happens by mistake, and every lesson is an opportunity for improvement and growth.

What made you decide to attend Southern University at New Orleans for undergrad?

Southern University is not only affordable but also a hidden gem. We are a part of the Southern System, which is the ONLY HBCU system in the nation, and here, I was able to tap into my potential while receiving a quality education at an affordable price.

How has Southern University at New Orleans molded you into the person you are today?

Southern University at New Orleans took a student and molded her into a professional scholar. I have achieved many milestones throughout my matriculation, such as becoming the FIRST HBCU White House Scholar, the FIRST Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) Yard Ambassador and Influencer, and so much more. With SUNO, there would not be a “Madam President.”

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?

We [FORCE Admin] are planning voter drives and workshops that will showcase the importance of voting and voter registration drives, where we are encouraging the community and student body to register to vote and get involved in future elections.

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

This year, the “FORCE” Administration, “Focused On Rebuilding the Collegiate Experience,” has spearheaded many initiatives such as SUNO Wellness Day. We, [FORCE Admin], have successfully advocated for additional mental health resources and will open a counseling center in the Summer of 2024. We are working to have university Mental Days where students can have excused days to refocus and recharge.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership is about inspiring others and leading by example. It’s about understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses while learning to identify the capabilities of others. Being in leadership teaches you that you must leverage strengths to overcome team challenges and accomplish goals. Leadership requires understanding that a group is more than a sum of individual parts. I learned that a good leader encourages and enables people to reach their full potential while providing support every step of the way. Leadership is the stepping stone to more incredible milestones!

We now live in a digital world, what do you think schools need to do to represent themselves online in 2023/2024?

Social media, especially, is vital in higher education. We now live in a world where what we see influences our daily lives, and perception is critical. Intuitions that utilize the digital field allow themselves to not only brand more but be more accessible to potential students who are in the digital arena. More digital branding means more exposure!

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

I believe Watch The Yard is essential to Black students and college culture because it exposes the nation to the value of a college education and the history and importance of African American Greek life. This platform effectively utilizes social media to showcase different experiences and opportunities for pursuing post-secondary education, especially in HBCUs. Watch the Yard is steadfast in showcasing Higher Education and collegiate excellence.

What do you plan on doing after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to attend grad school at another HBCU, hopefully up North, where it snows! I know I will graduate and walk in the footsteps of excellence, a journey destined for me.

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Dana Bailey for her work as the SGA president of Southern University at New Orleans.

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