In 1951, Grambling College developed an administrative body to govern its students and protect their interests. Its establishment was once viewed as an effort to bridge a noticeable gap between university officials and the student populous. It was formed to encourage student involvement, promote academic growth and vocalize students’ needs and concerns. This organization was and is known as the Student Government Association.
R.W.E. Jones, our second university president, was committed to the expansion of Grambling College through its most valuable assets – the students. His appearance at SGA functions was hardly a surprise, and the administration’s respect for student opinion was apparent.
In the late ’70s, during President Joseph B. Johnson’s tenure, the needs of the students were made clear by the SGA and promptly acted upon. The very construction of the C.D. Henry Natatorium is an example of what effective student leadership and a supportive administration can produce.
Provided that both entities maintained mutual respect for the other, greater advancements for the institution could continue to take place. Over time, our SGA would evolve into a consortium of avid leaders who were serious about their roles. Having such attitude, elected officials proved to be highly productive in their positions.
As of late, the administration has become far less involved with the SGA, except for instances that require access to funds that the SGA oversees. It is sad to say that the relationship between the two appears to be like a bitter marriage headed straight for divorce.
As an active member in SGA, I readily recognize the decline in morale that has taken place among us.
Despite lack of communication and other problems, the SGA is still expected to remain an active voice.
The cries of the faithful few still go unnoticed. Are we now rebels without a cause? Have we lost focus of our purpose as student leaders? Or have we just given up on the idea that we are consumers expecting quality service? The answer is NO.
We are waiting for the SGA to once again be a strong force by fully representing the student body’s perspective to our administration. Looking from the inside out, I can honestly say that we are in need of leaders who are sincerely concerned about our students and the future of this university.
As the SGA approaches almost 60 years of service, we should all make it a personal goal to reclaim our place as change agents. We are doing ourselves a disservice by remaining silent through lack of participation and settling for inadequate representation.
SGA President Whitney Moore-White has chosen the motto “Being the change that you want to see in the world.” So, can we really commit to being part of that change? Will you sacrifice your free time to voice your opinions to people who were elected to serve you? Whether it is in a committee meeting or in a rally, our opinion does matter. We can make a difference. Our voice must be heard. But how many of us are ready to speak?
My mother has always advised me to never settle for anything I could change for the better. I challenge you to do the same.