What is it like being president of the Student Government Association?
It’s definitely a challenge, but I absolutely love it and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I served as vice president last year, so I knew a little bit about what I was getting myself into. It’s a huge responsibility. The chancellor, the Board of Directors, and the City of Greenville look to me to represent the nearly 28,000 students of this university. And believe me, I take that responsibility very seriously. I am called up on to represent the students' best interests, and I try my best to always do that.
What is your message to students, both current and prospective?
Go to class. Go to class. Go to class! Get involved in a campus organization and enjoy every moment of your college experience because those four years will go by fast. Also, and this is really the most important thing, be responsible. Students have a very, very, important role in this community. A lot of the decisions that are made within the city are made with the students in mind. This city is Pirate Country, and they want our input on a lot of the decisions they make, which is great. It is important that we make sure that we are deserving of that consideration.
Okay, what's up with the nickname?
You mean Cornbread? That started in high school, in PE my freshman year. Each day we’d work out and do our little runs and jumping jacks and whatnot and then the rest of the period we’d play basketball. And when I say "we" I mean the basketball team. They'd play full court and they wouldn’t let anyone else play. Well, I got tired of that, so I decided one day that I was going to play. I grabbed a ball and went out to the foul line to shoot to be a captain. One of the basketball players comes up and asks me what I think I'm doing. I told him I was going to shoot for it and he's like, "No, your not." Now, he’s really tall and strong and a varsity basketball player. I’m not even 110 pounds and he’s telling me I’m not going to shoot. So I say, "Yes, I am." With that, he puts his arm on my shoulder and yells to the rest of the class, "Hey guys it looks like we’ve got a piece of cornbread who wants to play ball with us." As soon as he said it, everyone started laughing. The players, kids in the class, even the coaches. It was the most embarrassing moment of my life. But I knew I couldn’t back down, so I challenged him to shoot for it—five foul shots each. He agreed. I made all five. He didn't. I got to play, but I was forever known as Cornbread. I'm still Cornbread to this day. I've even got it on my license plate.