by Sami Thomason
arts & life editor
Last semester, the student body elected junior Ghali Haddad Student Body Association president for the 2014-2015 year. I recently sat down with Haddad to discuss his ideas for this term.
The Purple & White: What’s your vision as SBA president?
Ghali Haddad: As your student body president, I aim to deal with your concerns directly and effectively by communicating with the student body on a personal level. Maintaining the unique environment that originally drew us to this campus is a priority. At the end of my term, I hope to see an increase in student morale by increasing the number of on- and off-campus student events and activities.
P&W: What do you hope to accomplish this year?
GH: At the executive board goal-setting retreat, we discussed what the students would like us to push for. With an active senate and constituency, we hope to boost student events on campus by planning more entertaining student events, such as concerts on and off campus, Millsaps nights at CS’s, and other Saps events. Also, we would like to continue to improve dining services by introducing a senate-run food service committee, and possibly repurposing some areas like Reuben’s or Kava [House] to be more a student-friendly environment.
P&W: Do you want to do anything differently from past SBA presidents?
GH: Presidents have their own unique leadership style and vision. In the past, presidents did a great job in addressing student concerns and reaching out to administrators to be malleable to the changing student population. I plan on doing a couple of things differently than presidents in the past. First of all, there will be a brief small group meeting for the senator of each class after senate. I think the more personal environment will cause more senators to be involved in resolutions and keep them accountable for their tasks. I am also a big advocate for transparency, so I plan to utilize the P&W to share the latest news of the college and ask for your thoughts.
P&W: What do you think are pressing issues for Millsaps students?
GH: Students need to have more fun on campus, plain and simple. The college does a great job in providing activities for students to enjoy, but usually there is little to no participation. I would like to advocate for more off-campus events that students want to show up to. People regularly say that Saps events are “boring” and will have administrators and security there to hassle people. That is simply not true. If you would like to see your events or activities hosted, then get involved with the college. Email the Saps executives with your suggestions. If students don’t speak out, then how are they going to be heard? I also would like to advocate for more campus renovations emphasizing dorms and outdoor space.
P&W: Is there anything else you want the student body to know?
GH: Millsaps students need to realize that they attend one of the finest educational institutes in the southeastern region. Our educational programs and faculty are praised nationally, our Greek system is award-winning, and our athletics are superior. Due to the size of the college, every single student can have an impact; they simply need to be involved. Administrators put enormous faith in the student body’s senate to be the liaison between them and the students. So talk to your senator about what’s bothering you, schedule a meeting with a college administrator, or stop me in the Caf’ or Kava or class and tell me your concerns. The college exists because of us, the students. So let’s be proud to call ourselves Majors, and begin taking ownership of our Mother Millsaps.