SGA and Tye Tribbett break barriers


The Student Government Association took a chance and stepped out of the box  to offer something different: the iLEAD Summit. The first day was held on Friday. It was the nucleus of the three-day event, leaving students with a greater knowledge of leadership.  

 “I have been empowered from this summit,” said Tiffany Lee, member of the Delta Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, sorority. “As leaders we should focus or become aware of the issues, what is important, and find an interest of the community.” 

The purpose of the weekend was to build leadership skills, change the culture of GSU and to bring informative activities to students to enhance their college educational experience.  “For the students, who attended, benefited greatly from this and received the purpose of the message,” said Corban Bell, SGA chief of staff. 

Craig Mathews, Reggie Moore, and Bennie Patterson served as the event’s session leaders. Mathews approached students in a different way for his Community Connections session. Before students entered the classroom Mathews said, “There is a big problem in this room and I need your help.” The problem was a chaotic scene of desks flipped over. 

The demonstration was to get an immediate response from the students, followed by a suitable reaction.

“Every group worked as a community to restore order where there was chaos, so we can get on with business on why we are here,” said Mathews.

Freshman class senator Tiffany Owens enjoyed the Community Connections session with Mathews. Owens said his session was inspiring and educational. “I became motivated to get more involved in my community,” said Owens.

“I gained a greater sense of responsibility and accountability for my organization as a leader,” said Amber Fairley, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee president.  “I believe that this should be held annually. It’s a great experience for new and current leaders.”

At the end of Friday’s event, students were able to express their concerns and issues to SGA President Jonathan Allen when he posed the question, “Where do we lack as student leaders?”  

 “As leaders and followers, if we see leaders that do not necessarily care, we (students) are not going to care or support them,” said Fairley.

Other concerns such as the university not providing The Wall Street Journal or USA Today like other universities or not allowing CNN to play alongside the Akoo music videos in Tiger Express, left several students questioning whether GSU’s purpose is education or entertainment.

The purpose of the iLEAD Summit was to have student dialogue, according to Allen.

“Too often we do not have conversations with our student leaders,” said Allen. “On Friday we allowed them to freely express their concerns, suggestions and solutions on campus.”

The dialogue sparked the concept of expanding the summit with a Bayou Bash Project to promote an educational and political awareness event. 

 The summit showed that working together and using effective communication can lead to positive results.

“We need to start with student leader’s actions along with words,” said David Ponton, dean of student activities. “Views and perceptions can be strongly shaped by our positive actions. We must be the example!” On Sunday at 7:00 p.m., Grambling State and the surrounding community joined the SGA for the finale of a long weekend of events. 

The anointed voices of Tim Stewart and Company Praise Team opened the last night of the iLEAD Summit. 

After the group brought the audience to their feet, they were then entertained by the dance group Fame. 

Senior theater major Deron James performed an acoustic rendition of “Awesome God”. His performance added a different element to the entire night as he shared his neo-soul style as his own form of worship.

Allen estimated that the budget for the event was around $10,000. 

Majority of the funds were used to bring in speaker and gospel artist Tye Tribbett. 

When Tribbett came on stage everyone stood to their feet. He started off with a prayer and dived right into the message. 

Tribbett asked jokingly, “I can’t see y’all, can someone turn the lights on?” 

His message highlighted on how students can focus on  life and how to master your thinking with the Bible.

Tribbett hopped, jumped and shouted all around the stage during his sermon. 

“Anything that grabs your attention, you’re a product of that,” said Tribbett. “This is a season of intense and intentional focus.”

Allen was pleased with the outcome and turnout of the night. Both students and faculty left with their souls on fire. 

“I enjoyed Tye Tribbett, he spoke to me directly about  issues I was going through,” said senior education major Salea Hayes. “SGA put on a great event, I was happy I attended.”