Q&A: Jesse Brown, student government association president

Brianna Sheen

Jesse Brown, Student Government Associate president, Criminial Justice Senior, works at his desk, August 24, 2015. Photo taken by Francisco Martinez
Jesse Brown, Student Government Associate president, Criminial Justice Senior, works at his desk, August 24, 2015. Photo taken by Francisco Martinez

As the new school year begins, we took some time with Student Government Association President Jesse Brown to talk about this year’s SGA goals and changes.

What is your big priority for Student Government Association going into this school year?

“We’re redoing our public relations arm. We want to be out there for the students more, we want to have a visible face. We’ll have an open door policy so students can come talk to us anytime. We’ll be having coffee socials, snack socials, trying to get our name out so that every student at MSU knows that SGA exists.”

What are some of the top projects SGA will be working on this school year?

“We would like to bring forth some legislation concerning a centralized tutoring center. Students have already talked to us that are in favor of it. We are also going to talk about sexual assault prevention programs. Sexual assault prevention is a huge national issue right now and we’d like to make MSU a part of that discussion. Thirdly, we’d like to have leadership enhancements.”

How do you hope SGA is different this year compared to previous years?

“Previous years [of SGA] came up short by putting all the pressure on the three executive officers. SGA has committees and those committees are the ones that go out and tackle those issues and bring them back to SGA to vote on.”

Students can join SGA by attending meetings, but how can students and student organizations build a working relationship with SGA?

“We would like to help host as many events with organizations as possible. The best way is for organizational leaders to come talk to us. I just hope that a student walking by is not intimated to walk in the door and come and talk to us.”

If someone was considering joining SGA, what would you tell them are the biggest reasons to join?

“SGA is the voice of the students. You can personally have an influence on the direction that the student body heads in the next four years. You can look back in 20 years with your alumni and say ‘I was in the committee for that new dining contract, I gave back to my university’. You need to be in SGA if you want to have a lasting impact on MSU.”

What does it take to be successful as a student government official?

“Dedication to service. You’ve got to be willing to serve other students and sacrifice for other students and devote your time to building relationships with organization and individuals.”

Out of all the changes happening around campus, from dining services to our new university president, what are you most excited for?

“I’m excited about the new dining hall construction. Laura [Flores, SGA secretary] and I both served on the committee for Chartwells. We have  a Starbucks going into the library which when I came in 2012 was unheard of.”

As a graduating senior, what sort of legacy do you hope to leave behind at MSU?

“If people can look back at say that Midwestern is a better place after Jesse left than it was before he got here, then that would be a great legacy.”

Have you had a chance to work with the new University President, Suzanne Shipley yet?

“I’ve met Dr. Shipley on many occasions. I interned in D.C. this summer, [and] Shepherd, the university she came from, is an hour from D.C. We met up one day, she took me around and showed me Shepherd. We had lunch, we visited and made plans for this year to help better this university. Our relationship is strong and she cares greatly about the students.”