BATON ROUGE – Student Government Association (SGA) Presidents gathered in Baton Rouge today to elect leadership positions in the University of Louisiana System and for statewide higher education. Serving on state boards as student members will be Louisiana Tech University SGA President Will Dearmon on the UL System Board of Supervisors and Nicholls State University SGA President Matthew Jewell on the Board of Regents. Student leaders from McNeese State University, Northwestern State University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and the University of New Orleans were also elected to leadership positions.
Louisiana Tech’s Dearmon, a political science major from Winnfield, said service will be his focus. “I will serve all nine universities to the best of my ability. Former student board members have set a good example of reaching out to fellow student leaders on issues coming before the board. I want to maintain that line of communication so that I can accurately and adequately represent each institution,” said Dearmon.
A senior business administration major at Nicholls from Lulling, Jewell believes his job on the Board of Regents should be voicing student opinions on major issues facing higher education. “It doesn’t matter what my opinion is on financial aid, the budget, or student fees. My job is to research the issues. I should be the voice of the students,” said Jewell.
McNeese SGA President Davante Lewis will serve as Chair of the Louisiana Council of Student Body Presidents, the statewide organization comprised of student leadership from every public college and university. A junior government and mass communication major from Lake Charles, Lewis’ main focus is budget cuts. “Let’s bring the students’ point of view to the table. We need to tell our legislators that they need to invest in higher education in Louisiana if they want to grow our economy,” said Lewis.
UL Lafayette SGA President Ashley Mudd will serve as Chair of the UL System’s Student Advisory Council (SAC), UNO SGA President Laura Siu will serve as SAC Vice Chair, and Northwestern SGA President Derrick Houston will serve as the SAC Service-Learning Coordinator.
Mudd, a child and family studies major from Lafayette, and Siu, a biology and psychology major from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, will work together to improve communication and collaboration between students and the UL System’s nine universities. “I believe there are solutions to problems at our own universities that may be sitting in the room with us. What’s working at one university may be beneficial to another. We need to open the lines of communication and look at ways to collaborate,” said Mudd.
As the UL System SAC Service-Learning Coordinator, Houston will be responsible for organizing a coordinated system-wide service project similar to last year’s Students Strong in Service initiative that raised over $12,500 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The senior social work major from Vivian will also be an advisory member to the system’s Service-Learning Council.
“The University of Louisiana System values student voices on its board and the work of the Student Advisory Council. This year, we are excited about the additional statewide leadership positions filled by our students as it is indicative of the caliber of emerging leaders at our universities,” said UL System President Randy Moffett.
ABOUT THE UL SYSTEM: The University of Louisiana System is the largest higher education system in Louisiana enrolling about 94,000 students at Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and the University of New Orleans.