Desoto County News

Northwest Student Government Association awards ceremony

Photo: SGA Officers and faculty at SGA recognition ceremony. From left to right, Dr. “TJ” Walker, Jaylan Harris, Dakota Lesure, Noah Fraser, and Dr. Tonyalle Rush. (Photo credit: Sarah Smith)

Northwest Mississippi Community College’s Student Government Association (SGA) held its annual awards and recognition ceremony to honor students for their participation as important members of the Northwest community on April 20 at the Haraway Center.

The SGA’s purpose is meant to promote exchange of ideas and opinions between students, faculty and staff to help coordinate and regulate activities of SGA to benefit both educational activities and the student body.

“The SGA exists to discuss issues of importance to students and to make recommendations to the College administration,” said Janalisha Heard, SGA advisor and administrative assistant for Student Services and Enrollment Management. “Such recommendations are reviewed by the administration and incorporated into planning. In addition to serving as active members of the SGA, members serve on a variety of institutional committees. By active participation in these decision-making bodies, SGA members assist Northwest in improving and expanding its services to the campus community.”

Dr. Tommy “TJ” Walker, former SGA advisor at Northwest, said if he had to choose one word to define these students, it would be the word “special.”

“I gained so much from them,” Dr. Walker said. “I saw leaders emerge from this (group).”

Walker said that he particularly felt this way when the students proposed, planned, and executed the Sneaker Ball, which was a formal event that provided an opportunity for many students who were not able to attend prom due to COVID-19 during their senior year of high school. Dr. Walker gave full credit to these students, and he said, to his knowledge the plan was to continue formal events at the college both in Spring and Fall every year.

The students recognized for their service are SGA President, Dakoyta Lesure of New Albany; Vice President Noah Fraser of Waterford; and Treasurer/Secretary Jaylan Harris of Horn Lake.

A sophomore biology student, Lesure said that being a part of SGA provided her an opportunity to forge connections, be an advocate for the student body and develop professional communication skills that worked together by accomplishing tasks to better the community she’s a part of.

“Throughout my experience of being in office, I’ve learned the importance of networking, punctuality, and communication,” Lesure said.

Dr. Tonyalle Rush, associate vice president for Student Services and Enrollment Management, said she’s extremely proud of the SGA and their work as the college’s student governing body participating in volunteering, serving on the finance council, and student services council.

“This group of students has done an amazing job leading student involvement efforts on campus for the past two years,” Dr. Rush said. “This group hosted our first fall formal, a Sneaker Ball in the Fall 2021 semester, which is still being discussed today! SGA members are also very involved as they have done community service projects and love giving back to the community.”

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