Jones brings fresh outlook to UNCP student government
By Scott Bigelow
Government Association President-elect Venessa N. Jones brings a
fresh perspective to the office.
Before her election this spring, Jones was not involved with student
government at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. However,
Jones is very involved in campus life.
"I got into a little bit of everything, but I was not into politics,"
the junior marketing major said of her college experience.
Jones campaigned all over campus, asking students what they wanted
from their next SGA president. She built her political platform on what
students said they wanted from their leaders.
It worked. Jones was elected in one of the University's most competitive
elections with the biggest voter turnout in recent history.
"I have listened to my peers, and they think that unity is important
- on campus and off campus too with the community," she said.
Jones said she will continue to listen to her constituents.
"I think the rule is that the SGA president is supposed to be
in the office five hours a week," she said. "I plan to be
in the office all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays."
"I want students to come visit me and share their ideas,"
Jones, who lives in Raleigh but is a graduate of Douglas Byrd High
School in Fayetteville, said building school pride through participation
is her primary goal as SGA president.
"More participation means more pride," she said. "I
want to see more students at basketball games and at more weekend activities."
"I want to involve the fraternities, sororities and other clubs,
who are the main focus of campus social life, in planning activities
For her part, Jones said campus life at UNCP is very rewarding.
"I commuted my first semester, and when I moved to campus, I was
able to be more intimate with the students," she said. "I
like UNCP because it is a small school atmosphere where everybody knows
you and says hello."
Jones was a peer advisor, orientation leader, a member of Students
in Free Enterprise and a member of the campus NAACP chapter.
Now, it's time to return the favor to the student, she believes.
"I have been to a lot of meetings since becoming president-elect,
and I've learned a lot," Jones said. "Meeting with the Association
of Student Governments, I learned that other schools face the same issues
and what they are doing to handle these issues."
Jones will also go to summer school so she can take a lighter course
load in the fall. This way she will have more time for student government
"Being SGA president is very time consuming, so I am making time,"
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