A Chat with the President - SGA President Making a Difference

Uploaded by southernmissmedia on 19.09.2011

I’m here in the Student Activities Hub and that is part of a historic part of our campus
and I’m here today with Erick Brown who is Student Government President. Erick is
a sociology major from Columbus Mississippi has a long list of accolades and accomplishments
after having arrived here but he has really hit it running as Student Government President.
This year already he accomplished a great deal and he’s only a few months into his
presidency so I really thought it was a good idea to talk to him about what he’s about
and what we can expect to hear from the students this year. Well Erick, with all that you have
on your agenda and with all of your personal goals why did you run for SGA president and
what do you hope to accomplish? Well I was hoping that I would be able to pay for it
with some of the things that were invested into me after first getting here at Southern
Miss and I think I’m able to do that. You know I had a lot of things invested into my
leadership skills and I wanted to pay it forward and hopefully do some good things for campus
and for students. What are some of the initiatives that you’ve started that you hope to see
completed this year and what are some of the initiatives that you’ve picked up from the
previous president? Well one big one that I picked up from the previous president is
the smoking initiative. We have a new smoking policy on campus that I’m sure you know
about. It’ll hopefully make our campus more healthy and it’ll change the culture to
one that is more healthy for everybody, smokers and non-smokers. Now that took some doin’
didn’t it? It took a lot of work, yeah. We’ve been working on it for the past three
and a half months. But it’s come to fruition now and we’re happy and excited about what’s
going to be going on. Alright what else? I have a lot of plans to create new bodies in
SGA, new ways for people to get involved. Hopefully we can get tapped into some different
demographics and get more students involved and get more students input into the things
that we do. So you’re really looking for ways to truly represent the student body.
Right. The entire student body, not just the cream of the crop, but every single person
who goes to school here. Since you’ve been at Southern Miss, who has helped you grow,
you know who has been a great influence on you? The past two SGA presidents have been
my biggest mentors, J. R. Robinson and Kasey Mitchell. Since the time I got here they have
been friends to me first and foremost but have also guided me in the things I should
and shouldn’t do to make myself into what I am now, a successful student and I have
a lot to owe them for my successes. Now on a personal note, you want to be a doctor and
I think you said you want to be a country doctor. Right. Now tell me about that and
how you made that decision. I was introduced to the Mississippi rural physician’s scholarship
program and it requires us to serve for four years in a rural part of Mississippi after
we finish med school and because those tend to be the least served areas in Mississippi,
I thought that would be the best place to put my efforts towards. So hopefully I will
be a country doctor in a little old country town and hopefully affect some lives that
way. That’s admirable. What do you hear from the students? I mean you’re out and
about and you’re about almost at every event you’re almost everywhere I am but when you’re
talking to students, what are the biggest I won’t say complaints, but comments concerns
that you hear? Well students’ concerns usually are centered around the things that they deal
with in the everyday. The cafeteria, parking on campus, things of that nature. And those
are things we try to hear and try to solve as best we can. So those are usually the things
that we have to deal with. But we also try to educate the student body too. Just aspects
of daily life? Pretty much. Alright, well if you could be the president of the university,
for one day, what would you do? I would probably try to make good relationships with faculty
and staff foremost and students as well because I think that’s one of your biggest assets
actually that you have such good relationships with people on campus . So I think that would
be my first move. To hopefully make the rest of it a smooth sailing thing. It’s all about
relationships isn’t it? Definitely. If you were advising a new student coming to Southern
Miss for the first time what would you tell that person? I would say be yourself, be open
to change yourself but don’t lose yourself. So try to become the person that you know
you can be or want to be but don’t go so far that you don’t know who you are. Bring
out the best in yourself. Definitely.