Presenting TU’s SGA President
by Elizabeth Davis
You see her leading Student Government Association meetings. You see her in classes. You see her around campus. But do you really know Jessica Beard, your SGA president?
Beard is a political science major by trade, although she credits advancements in SGA more to the character of the senator than to a concentration in any particular academic field.“I wouldn’t say that my particular major has benefited me in the organization over any of the other students’ majors. Being an involved and productive member of the organization simply requires dedication to our goals and a desire to become familiar with our constitution and practices,” she said.
And she’s demonstrated commitment to becoming that kind of SGA senator. Beard served as Crimson Flix program coordinator her sophomore year and student life committee chair her junior year.
She related how much insight the latter position has given her for her role as president.
“Through my position as committee chair I gained an appreciation for the importance of keeping a close contact with the student body,” she said. “This was especially important when dealing with student issues that directly affected how we live on campus. I feel that my committee was constantly working to find out how students felt about any particular issue.”
This level of involvement also extends to Beard’s extracurricular activities at Transy. She served as a student orientation leader for two years (2008-09 and 2009-10) and is currently the peer adviser to this year’s Quick Start for Academic Success program, the president of Transy’s pre-law fraternity (Phi Alpha Delta), and the career and personal development chair for her sorority.
Additionally, Beard is active in politics outside of Transy. She recently participated in a semester internship in Frankfort, Ky., where she worked with Rep. Leslie Combs, D-Pike County, and she also serves as precinct youth chairman in her hometown.
So what are Beard’s goals for SGA this year? She stated that one of the main focuses of this year’s SGA will be furthering President Williams’ goal of a paperless campus. Senators will also address several technology issues on campus and follow up on changes occurring to food services throughout campus.
Beard also said that SGA and Transy’s administration will be working closely to coordinate student volunteerism at the World Equestrian Games.
Although her goals encompass a great number of changes, Beard said that a common misconception about SGA is that it is not an active organization on campus.
“Some of the tasks that we accomplish may go unnoticed because they are at times subtle changes. For example, the academic life committee has been working to get a clock in all the classrooms in Haupt Humanities; but this is obviously not a change that will be drastically different and highly visible,” she said.
With all these goals for furthering SGA being discussed, we wanted to know what Beard’s plans are for postgraduate life.
“After graduation I plan to attend law school, and after finishing there I would like to work in government, with advocacy groups or (with) nonprofit organizations.”
The choice between the last three, she said, is undecided. But as her time as a student at Transylvania can demonstrate, we know her future success is certain.