Last week, the Ursinus College Student Government announced the new student body president for the next academic year.
Sophomore and Political Science major Jalen Everette rose to the top as students’ preferred candidate to serve the college’s community.
For Everette, a driving factor for running in the race was hearing from students who voiced their complaints to him about issues Ursinus needed to improve on. Due to the relatively small campus size, Everette explained how he was able to foster new relationships with not just the student body but with administration as well. It wasn’t until he understood this that he knew he could help these concerned students and let them be heard.
Many newly elected presidents tend to focus on issues they believe are vital for the growth of the institution. As a student, Everette saw two issues he believes the college needs to continue to work on, the judicial system and negative culture on campus, specifically students’ belief about the administration being out of touch.
“The Judicial process needs to be reformed to where we have a clear layout of the process and what unbiased options students have going through the process. I also saw the culture around campus was negative because students feel the administration is out of touch and not supporting the students. I know personally that a lot of administration supports the students so how can we build better relationships between students and administration so that this culture isn’t being passed down to the next class,” Everette said.
During his presidency, Everette hopes to make crucial changes to students’ assumptions about the administration along with promoting the college’s positive attributes to produce better student involvement.
“The Ursinus experience is what you make it and if I can aid people to make their experience what they want, I have done part of my job,” he said.
Everette discussed his plan to bridge the gap between the groups, through collaboration and support from both parties.
“We can find the solutions to the relevant issues both sides want to see,” he said.
Everette is optimistic about the future.
“As advertised on the Ursinus webpage, ‘College isn’t all lectures, labs, and libraries,’ so it’s one thing to promote this but how can follow through efficiently on these advertisements. Also, we have seen life is unpredictable and needs change over time, so I want to be able to adapt to these challenging circumstances to accomplish things people want to see in the midst of life’s unpredictability,” he said.
For many minority students, Everette’s win is a great deal as he’s one of the first people of color to hold the title. However, he believes it’s a success for all students.
“I am the Student Body President so I must represent the entirety of the campus. I feel all students should see this as a win because I have tried to build many relationships around campus with people personally in the hope they feel comfortable with me to voice some problems they want to be fixed around campus. I am proud that many minority students around campus see this as the beginning of a new change and I will work to make sure I fulfill the change that minority students want to see,” he said.
Everette closed off with this message for students. “The experience you get at Ursinus is what you make it and the best way to get the most out of your experience is having your ideas heard so they may be instituted. I urge all students to reach out to me or my team of the executive board to see the changes people want to see,” he said.