Farewell from Our 2018-19 Student Government President

Adarian-Headshot-GraduationStepped in history with a longstanding legacy of tradition, service, excellence and exemplifying our university’s motto: Where Everybody is Somebody! I am honored to be granted the stewardship of this venerable institution; grateful for the trust of the Grambling family; optimistic for our shared future.

At this moment, I am reminded of all those who have nurtured and supported me — my teachers along the way. I especially want to recognize my mentor who we know as one of the greatest president’s of Grambling State University, President Richard J. Gallot, Jr., who has led the rebuilding of our campus, extended its reach to all corners of the state of Louisiana and beyond, and simultaneously strengthened the collaboration with many.

I salute my fellow student leaders who graciously joined SGA, bringing their wisdom, hard work and support, and demonstrating by their presence the bond that connected all of us in higher education and in student leadership. Thank you for your dedication, the best is yet to come!

In the 116 years since its founding, Grambling State University has advanced, despite challenges along the way. The present moment of transition arrives at a time of uncertainty for all our country’s colleges and universities, especially Historically Black Colleges and Universities. We are living in a world that will test our university, but we must remain rooted in our principles and focused on our founding mission. We must be clear-eyed about our strengths and weaknesses, and ambitious in fulfilling our promise.

Among the many treasures of this university, it is our students who are the greatest treasure of all. So today, let me reaffirm that SGA is a governing body that proudly and unapologetically focuses on our students. This is who we are and what we aspire to be: servant leaders.

As we move forward, Grambling State University must remain an institution combines the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college, a combination that enables our students to grow and learn in a serene and positive environment. But above all, Grambling State University should always be celebrated for our commitment to teaching at every level, in every classroom  — in our undergraduate college, in graduate education, and in each of our professional schools. We have found our distinct place in the great constellation of excellence, and we should embrace it. But even as our mission remains clear, our work is unfinished. We have new problems to solve, new research to conduct, new students to teach, new challenges to meet.

I emphasize our educational mission because we are in the midst of a teaching and learning revolution. How we respond — how we stay true to our best traditions while pioneering new frontiers — this is the challenge before us.

Throughout our history, Grambling State University has been at the forefront of educational innovation. The same is true today. Our task — even while we grow in size, even while we commit to being a more diverse faculty, staff, and student body; more cross-disciplinary; and more global — is to retain Grambling’s focus on the ties that bind us together, the sense of being a small, interdependent community, but one with an impressively broad scope. This intimacy and shared sense of purpose is what generates Grambling’s distinctive spirit. It also allows us to aspire to make the university even more unified. “We are a university; we are all members of a body dedicated to a single cause. There must be among us distinctions of function, but there can be no division of purpose, no fighting one another, no skipping or being late for class, no destruction of each other’s property, no taking a Grambling education for granted; Why? Because we are #GRAMFAM!

Beyond our beautiful courtyard is another part of what makes Grambling State University a special place for teaching and learning: the ability to lead and advocate as a student. The Student Government Association and our administration are forever coupled; our destiny; our goal is shared. That goal is to ensure student success.

So, as my tenure at the two-term Student Government Association President comes to an end, let’s take a glance at some of the highlights; we raised 15K+ in funding for student scholarships and campus renovation projects. As students, involvement in the university’s fundraising efforts has a tremendous impact on others willingness to be philanthropic. We also see first-hand that we have the ability to make a positive change in our community, and most importantly, our institution. We gave financially to several clubs & organizations towards service projects, conferences and more.

The SGA was also involved with numerous construction projects/upgrades taking place on the campus, such as the C.D. Henry Natatorium Demolition, the Student Union Bowling Alley, computer lab upgrades, flood restoration in campus facilities, campus safety and emergency improvements including more lighting, security and safety upgrades, Wi-Fi upgrades, the enhancements in the McCall Dining Center, new Shuttle Bus and Student ID designs, new Media Digital Boards across campus, and more.

The SGA took on the task of revising our governing documents, the SGA Constitution and the SGA Election Code, to accomplish clarity, consistency and brevity. These documents are essential and lay the foundation for the organization. They had not been revised since 2013-2014.

Some of our initiatives included: seminars on topics such as financial literacy, etiquette, campus diversity, voter registration/the importance of registering and exercising our right to vote, mental health, human equality, HIV/Aids Testing, Safe Zones for our LGBTQIA community, Care Package Closet, Campus-Wide Prayer (Mondays & Thursdays), Exam Study Sessions (Free Test Scantrons/Blue Books), Talk to Me Thursday, etc.; workshops with the campus police department on safety and awareness, internship fairs, job fairs as well as resume, headshot and business card building in collaboration with Career Services, and much more! To ensure the students voices were heard, we also initiated an online anonymous suggestion box where students could submit their questions, comments, concerns and ideas on issues we could advocate for on campus. We were glad to report that our students were very responsive on this online device.

GRAMFAM, you have bestowed on me the greatest honor that a student could possibly receive: the opportunity to serve as the university’s student body president for two terms. I cherish this trust, and I acknowledged my need for your help to fill my terms as president with loyalty, dignity and pride. Old Grambling, dear Grambling, We love thee, dear Old Grambling.

Thank you, may God bless you and may God continue to bless Grambling State University!