SGA Attends Presidential Leadership Summit
On Saturday, June 9 – Monday, June 11, five members of Student Government Association’s executive committee attended the Presidential Leadership Summit in Washington D.C. The Georgia State University delegation was led by SGA President Franklin Patterson and included Alpharetta Executive Vice President (EVP)- Alexus Seymour, Atlanta EVP – Ayesha Iqbal, Clarkston EVP – Christin Smith, and Dunwoody EVP – Attush Dhakal. The Presidential Leadership Summit (PLS) is an annual event hosted by the National Campus Leadership Council. The organization’s official website describes PLS as, “the nation’s largest convening of student body presidents from colleges and universities.” The summit provides incoming student body presidents the opportunity to cultivate relationships with the nation’s policymakers and to prepare for their new administrative terms. These students participated in group discussions that allowed them to strategize on best practices of success for their student body. While the summit is only its sixth year, it has already gained a reputation as one of the best resources and opportunities for student body presidents to serve as effective leaders during their administrative term. Over 200 college and universities across the United States have attended the Presidential Leadership Summit.
Students provided the following benefits from having attended the leadership summit:
Attending the PLS was an opportunity that I will not soon forget. I met a lot of great people and formed long-lasting bonds with most. I also learned how to improve as both a leader and a person. The PLS conference showed me that as President not only is it my job to look out for all students, it is also my job to make sure that I am proactive in solving issues that might occur. As a leader, it is my job to learn from the past, work on the present and plan for the future. I also learned how to have meetings that are productive and how to complete projects in the most efficient way as possible. I plan on applying all of these lessons and teachings to my Presidency this year and my life.
– Franklin Patterson, University-Wide President
“PLS has reevaluated my concept of what it takes to become a memorable and effective leader and how each role within Student Government affects the association as a whole. PLS has also exposed the many great attributes that I acquire as well as areas where I can reinvent myself. Also, each breakout session that I explored, such as Diversity & Inclusivity and Hate Crime provided phenomenal information and resources on how to combat such type of issues. In addition, PLS has conditioned me to believe the lengths how of Student Government can not only affect the campus environment, but also the communities surrounding the campus.
– Alexus Seymour, Executive Vice President – Alpharetta
Previously, I had no experience as a student government member, I am a business owner and so I serve as a leader in a different context but not necessarily as a student leader. Hence, with so little past experience it was a little daunting as I entered a role just one step away from the top. Although I have been working constantly since inauguration, the countless learning curves often slowed down my process. But such a conference changed my perception, I learned not only what people expect from me, but what to expect from other leaders. The conferences on lobbying, crisis control, and voter registration were probably some of my favorites that I will both use and teach to others. Even the little unintentional teachings, like the tone with which to talk in and the mindset to hold while presenting new initiatives has opened me to so many new concepts. If not anything else, this conference has given me the fuel for the engine I constructed.
~ Ayesha Iqbal, EVP – Atlanta
My overall experience at PLS was phenomenal. I loved the atmosphere of understanding that came from student leaders attending around the nation (and some from around the world) coming together and having conversations. This summit provided incoming and current the student leaders with the tools to expand their impact on student life on campus. Through breakout informational sessions, experienced feedback to conflict, and organic conversation between student leaders, the summit prepared me to go into my term with the confidence to conquer the new challenges that come with being a student leader. With this knowledge on topics such as inclusion on campus, team/ project management, marketing, lobbying, and more, I feel that I am more prepared to effectively implement change with my work in SGA.
~ Christin Smith, EVP – Clarkston
PLS redefined my understanding of Student Government with profound insights into policies on local, state and federal level and how SGA can play its role to advocate for the students affected by those policies. I got an opportunity to meet with hundreds of student leaders and interact with them about their goals; which broadened my vision regarding Student government. Also, the breakout sessions on topics like Team Management and Mental Health proved extremely resourceful to me. PLS was an accurate representation of [student] voice.
~ Attush Dhakal, EVP – Dunwoody
Georgia State University’s student leaders left the summit feeling energized and ready to serve the student body.