BY KIT HAIST – STAFF WRITER
The Cento interviewed Walker Morrell ‘19, president for the Student Government Association (SGA) for the 2018-19 school year. Morrell discussed his history with the organization, as well as his current agenda for the year, and his hopes for Centre in the future.
Morrell’s original interest in SGA sprang from students he most looked up to on campus who were involved with the organization. Morrell decided to run for President because he “care[s] deeply about Centre and felt like [he] was capable of having difficult conversations on behalf of the student body.”
As President, Morrell has a variety of responsibilities. From a more surface level standpoint, his position requires a lot of organizational work on behalf of the administration, students, and faculty. Morrell’s work extends not just to the wider campus, but within SGA itself.
“Internally, I try to develop leaders in SGA and make SGA a place where people feel included, valued, and excited to be there,” he conveyed.
To best achieve his responsibilities and goals as President, Morrell runs an SGA founded on trust and compassion. Morrell explained how he tries to express his trust in his fellow officers while still making it clear that he’ll provide support if needed.
“With regard to compassion, I try to frame what we’re doing in the larger scope of gratitude and service,” he stated. “We’re serving our student body, and it’s an honor to be in that position.”
Morrell went on to describe the short and long-term goals SGA hopes to reach in serving the student body. One of Morrell’s favorite events is the Literacy Gala on November 2nd to benefit the After-School Program. The event will be held at Toliver Elementary school from 6-8 pm.
SGA was also instrumental in establishing the Building Bridges event. “We started planning the Building Bridges event before handing it off to the Diversity office, and that event will be truly monumental for this campus,” Morrell explained.
“It’s rewarding to see events like the Building Bridges day come together. We’re truly making a difference,” he elaborated.
One factor contributing to the success of arranging events like Building Bridges is the evolution of SGA as an organization. In the past SGA was focused on “what [they] could accomplish with [their] money, whether that’s buying the rocking chairs in front of the CC or the chargers at the library.”
While Morrell acknowledges the necessity of providing for students’ material demands, SGA’s focus has shifted for the better. “We more frequently ask ourselves now what we can do with our time and power as liaisons between the administration and students,” he said.
“We’re more focused on cultural questions. These are harder to approach, but more important to the Centre experience.”
Morrell also communicated his beliefs on how he hopes Centre evolves after he’s graduated. “I hope Centre becomes more comfortable with difficult conversations and becomes a place of better empathy,” he voiced. “We’ve made great strides towards this recently, but there is a lot of room to improve and grow as a campus.”
Working alongside a “wonderful team” full of trust and compassion, Morrell is taking steps to help ensure Centre reaches its full potential as a college where students feel heard and valued.