Top Freshman officers linked to GSU

For the first time in recent memory, the Grambling State University freshman class elections have produced GSU faculty and staff legacies as Miss Freshman and a freshman class president.

Miss Freshman is the daughter of Carolyn Marshall-Jackson, an assistant professor in the department of educational leadership, and Jamie Jackson, the technology and database manager for the university’s Alternative Teacher Certification Project (ATCP), both in the college of education. The freshman class president is the daughter of Jamicia Albritton, the assistant director of scholarship in Grambling’s financial aid office.

After a strenuous week of campaigning, the winners of those positions and others were announced Sept. 6 and the new officers were sworn in on Sept. 10.

Christian Jackson, a biology major from Monroe, won the title of Miss Freshman and Vinicia Albritton, a psychology major from Ruston, won the responsibility as the new class president.

“I’m very honored and blessed to have won Miss Freshman,” said Jackson. “I’m willing to uphold and accomplish whatever the students want…”

“I worked hard for this and I will serve it well,” said Albritton. “I would like people to know that it doesn’t matter if you are the smartest or the strongest, you have to work together for a change.”  

I feel that it is a great honor and privilege to be elected to serve as Grambling State University’s Student Government Association freshman class president (for) 2013-2014,” said Albritton. “My main goal during my presidency is to work with the retention office … to improve the retention rate for freshmen as well as develop a scholarship to award to a deserving incoming freshman (in) fall 2014.”

SGA President Jordan Harvey said the new officers would be sworn in at 12 noon on Tuesday (September 10) in the Grambling Hall auditorium. He said there would be an inauguration on Sept. 20.

Just before the announcements, Ambra Brice, Miss Grambling State University 2013-2014, said she was excited as she and others anticipated the news.

 “I’m anxious to know who Miss Freshman is,” said Brice, 21, a marketing major from Gibsland. “We have so much to do before coronation, including pick out dresses.” 

The Grambling Hall auditorium had dozens of SGA members, supporters, advisors and candidates’ friends waiting to hear the outcome. Grambling State University internal audit director Donna Hill-Todd read the results after Samara Flowers, the SGA elections commissioner, called the meeting to order. Flowers thanked those who ran for office and asked that everyone stay involved, no matter the results.

Hill-Todd read the results by class, starting with general SGA positions and following up with the freshman class results. By request, the room of onlookers were silent as the results were read aloud, including the names of candidates and the number of votes for each candidate. 

The results were certified and sent to Dr. Pogue with copies to Dr. Duhon, SGA President, SGA Elections Commissioner and The Gramblinite on Sept. 9.   

In addition to Albritton and Jackson, Tamara Stewart won the position of freshman class vice president; Breonna Ward was elected as the freshman secretary; Jillian Bursh was chosen as the freshman treasurer and the three freshman class senators chosen were Jerrica Newman, Kayln Manning and Elric Truvillion.

Dean of Students David Ponton encouraged the winners to be focused and committed. “To be the best,” he told them, “you have to be on point.” 

Harvey, 20, a business major from Georgia said the SGA has a number of goals this academic year and he encouraged everyone in the room to be the change the university needs.  

Those elected, he said, have a chance to improve themselves as well as the SGA as they help represent about 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students.  He asked SGA representatives to be aware of the image they project because they are representing all students.

“You were elected for this position, this position did not elect you,” said Harvey. He said he and others have to be prepared and work to do a good job because there will be naysayers waiting for failure.

“This is now a major part of your life,” the SGA president told the crowd. “As the leaders of this campus we are to focus on student involvement, awareness around campus and positive changes.

“What we portray is how we’re perceived, so represent SGA to the best of your ability.”