A presidents’ meeting was held on Monday, Aug. 13, to address past leadership roles and current issues at hand in Jonathan Allen’s office. The former SGA presidents who attended the meeting were: David Aubrey, 1994-1995, Steven Jackson 2009-2010 and Channing Gaulden, 2011-2012.
Although past and current issues were discussed, old memories of how the university has evolved since 1994 were prominent.
“Before you could not touch anything in the book store, only point and if they only had corndogs at the cafe, that was your dinner and nothing else,” said Aubrey. During his term, Aubrey completed numerous of tasks, such as establishing a five dollar academic enhancement fee per semester, “students now do not have to pay to drop and add classes or for transcripts because of this fee.”
One issue that was brought to Allen’s attention was how to approach university administration in a respectful manner in an effort to accomplish his goals. “Allen does not have four years, he has eight months,” said Jackson. That is why Aubrey mentioned having “effective communication,” and his advice to Allen was to “never forget to be respectful and that he is representing “dear ole’ Grambling.”
The word “communication” was used frequently when addressing resolutions for problems with the administration. Having clear effective communication can benefit any person or organization in accomplishing their goals.
According to Tash Hughes of Word Constructions, clear communications is an obvious advantage. “If staff and suppliers understand your messages, they will get the job done efficiently and your business moves forward,” Hughes said in her article, Why Clear Communications Are Important?
Communication and listening were important and vital during Gaulden’s term.
“One of my main priorities was to form a mutual relationship with the administration, in order for you to try and even attempt to move Grambling forward, let alone the student body. The administration needs to be on board with your plans and goals,” said Gaulden.
He also stressed the importance of forming a relationship with the president and getting the entire academic community involved.
Each president agreed that putting students first and listening to their voice played a vital role in creating a better academic environment for everyone. However, with certain constraints it can make any president’s job difficult, “people on the outside don’t understand what the SGA president goes through,” said Gaulden.
“I am waiting for this information just like you are and it is only so much that a SGA president can do,” he added.
This year Jonathan Allen plans to use the knowledge passed from one leader to another to continue their legacy and establish his own.
That is why he called for the first presidents’ meeting to not only help him, but the student body. Allen has a lot in store for Grambling this year, which is why Aubrey stresses the importance of managing his time well as a student and as a “campus leader” for students.