A year ago, I felt insulted by a poster saying “Chris Who?” in my presidential race for SGA President. I took an oath and a promise that I would be the president to change SGA from what it was seeming to be and give the students a reason to remember the name Chris Harmon since many thought I was a joke. I also wanted to inspire more students to get involved in the elections and want to step up as student leaders. 1,009 students put their trust in me and through all of the trials and struggles that traveled in my direction, I was able to successfully accept the position, and pass the flame on.
From the signs and posters saying, “Chris Harmon is the SGA future!” until now, I made it my number one priority to represent the students. Several students did not agree with my term and I highly doubt that it was out of a reasonable reason, but for the most part, I had many supporters.
We are suffering from budget cuts, and until we get past this issue, it’s hard to promise something like building a new library and new classrooms without the correct funds. Therefore, I never promised the student body things that I knew could not happen. But I can assure, this issue has already been on President Judson’s plan and we may graduate, but at least you can look back one day and you will see the changes and the new facilities when you return home one day.
When I walk in tiger express and see the game room, I do not see the TV Screens and pool tables, I see all of the students enjoying themselves, laughing and having a good time, and that is the beauty of having the SGA President position. The suits and trips and escorting Miss Grambling was all a fantasy life of what your future can be, as long as you are willing to work for it, but as you can see, everything must come to an end sometime. I enjoyed every moment of my term, even the bad experiences because it was all training for the real world.
I tried to participate in as many activities and extra curricular activities for a reason. I wanted the students from every department to see me when they needed to. I wanted students to realize that we are all equal and that I am a leader who knows how to give back and still be able to gain friendship with students instead of sitting in the office all day.
My platform was “Unity” and I was to come up with activities, programs, and seminars to unite all students on campus and bridge the gap between international and American students. At first, I felt that I failed. Of course, we supported the US Presidential elections, we built a nice theatre and game room, we did a lot of community service, but where was the unity being implemented? After sitting and viewing the Calendar girl pageant and the elections, I realized that as a student leader, by doing what you promised and standing up for all students that will inspire someone to walk in your footsteps. At one point, internationals students were not involved in the voting process, nor were they interested in campaigning or running for any office.
This year, we had a candidate for Miss Grambling and for SGA President who were internationals and a few in the calendar girl pageant. Also, many have been entering the sisterhood and brotherhood of fraternities and sororities. Then at the booster in this years campaign, many organizations got together and had a small step show together and everyone had fun. So, many people may have criticized me saying different things, but in the long run, my promises to the student body were not a fantasy dream, my administration delivered. Students are finally coming together to realize it does not matter where you are from; we are all students of Grambling State University.
I would like to thank the administration; Judson, Duhon, Dixon, Sanders, McKinley, etc., without your cooperation, nothing would have been possible. I would like to give a huge thanks to the Favrot Student Union Board and the workers in the Union. Mrs. George, Mrs. Favors, Mrs. Hicks. A special thanks to Coach Ponton and Terry Lilly. Coach made things so easy for me and assisted in anyway that he could. Terry made things a little more difficult, but in the long run, I know his biggest concern was to make me an overall better person and better president.
I want to thank DeEric Henry. Without DeEric, there probably wouldn’t have been a President Chris Harmon. He groomed me into a President from head to toe and trained me how to present myself as a professional. I want to thank The Gramblinite and Television Center and the entire Mass Communication department for keeping me on my career path and still supporting me like they have always since I first walked in Mrs. Cage office signing up for the major. To all my extra curricular activities, the intramural coaches, Dr. Godwin and Mr. Norman in the Theatre, Mrs. Simpson and Pierre for accepting me into Black Dynasty even though I was unable to work with you, the thought of allowing me to work meant something and you were very understanding with all of my situations.
I want to thank my Dean Keith Kelly and Kevin Anthony, along with my line brothers and the rest of the members of Gamma Gamma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi for supporting me in every way and for keeping me on my feet. They made my journey as the president a lot tougher, but built me into a better leader, because we are a cut above the rest. Mr. Ralph Wilson, I appreciate you and everything you helped me with as the SGA president. You are a true friend and you understood how difficult it was at first not having an advisor. Mrs. Greer and Mrs. Albritton, along with the Thurgood Marshall Club on giving me an opportunity to travel and meet a lot of people and to sell myself to the corporate world.
Dr. Cassandra Shelling, you made me strive for the best, even when I was in the hospital. If it weren’t for you, I would have not been the Vice Chairman of COSBP. To Alonzo Blalock, Steven Jackson, Jennifer Wilson, Lamark Hughes, and Dominique Stewart, my executive cabinet, I believe we were the best group in a long time and I hope that people will continue to have the enthusiasm that we had in office. And lastly, but definitely not the least, the student body. Without your faith in me and your true dedication and participation, there is no SGA. I thank you all for giving me that opportunity to serve as your president. A part of me wanted to run for election again, but its time to let the next person get an opportunity to do something positive for students.
With this being said, Grambling State University, I leave you with the new administration. I am no longer “Prez” as many of you have referred me too, but even then, I always stated that I was a regular student. I was just selected to lead the students. So please, refer to me as Chris….”Chris Who?” Chris Harmon, the former Student Government Association president of 2008-2009 who stated, “We are One!