By Harold Crawford, Staff Writer

 

Getting more involved with the student body of the University of Missouri-St. Louis is the major focus of the Student Government Association. Aleathea Williams, junior, political science, is arguably one of the busiest students on campus. Williams serves as the Director of Events and Senator for SGA on top of being the Vice President of the Associated Black Collegians.

Williams sits on the Assessment of Educational Outcomes committee and the Faculty Teaching and Service Awards committee as part of SGA. Williams said, “I sought to be a part of Student Government Association to learn how I could impact student experience as a student myself and to serve as representation for minority students. I wanted to be a voice to interact with faculty and staff as well as increase my involvement on UMSL’s Campus.”

Williams continued, “This year I hope to assist in making SGA more visible on UMSL’s Campus through successful programming of our annual events and co-sponsorships.”

Williams was originally a nursing major when she came to UMSL. She said, “I chose UMSL because of the location and campus atmosphere. In UMSL’s environment, I knew that I would be able to focus academically but find other outlets to enjoy myself within St. Louis … The experiences I had living in St. Louis through protesting, learning, and navigating through challenges during my freshman year led me to the realization that I need to be within a field where I can positively impact, educate, and uplift the black community, as well as grow intellectually. I found this through Political Science.”

Getting into a conversation about politics, she explained why she loved her major so much. Williams said, “I can translate my passions into actual work … I want to uplift my black community.” She used former President Barack Obama, who she believes was the best president the United States has had so far as an example. She said, “No matter what can be negatively said about him, the fact that a black man held the highest political office served to show people of color that we can get to those places of power.”

Williams enjoys her education at UMSL because she gets to be in a very diverse community and learn from others. She said, “I have been wrapped in a cloud of support and challenges. I didn’t really have close friends that weren’t black or Latino. So UMSL is a new environment for me.”

Working with a variety of students in her leadership positions, she hopes that others can get involved on campus and learn. Political Science has taught her to be open minded, balanced with opposing viewpoints, but she does not like it when people are not willing to learn. She said, “I do not like to be around those who are complacent and unwilling to expand. I prefer to surround myself with those who will challenge and elevate with me.”

In the years to come, she hopes to still be growing intellectually, either living in Chicago or maybe a place that she has never lived before. She said, “I want to be living comfortably and doing something new.”

Williams had advice for those who want to be more involved. Williams said, “To those who want to be involved, I would say it is a lot a hard work and a commitment to yourself and others to take on leadership positions and involvement opportunities but it is about discipline and giving your best so that you are able to receive the most from the experience.”