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Monday, July 9, 2007

Dwight Humphrey is UNCP’s new SGA president

UNC Pembroke’s Student Government Association (SGA) President Dwight Humphrey dived into his new job this summer.

Dwight Humphrey

Dwight Humphrey

He is busy planning two historic events on campus – the first-ever fall Homecoming weekend and the annual meeting of the UNC Association of Student Governments in Pembroke.

“We are planning a major concert with big name performers,” Humphrey said. “We are building new Homecoming traditions.”

The meeting of UNC’s 16 student government representatives at UNCP will be a moment of pride for the SGA and for the campus, he said.

“This is an opportunity to show our campus to people,” he said. “It will put Pembroke on the map.”

A New Bern, N.C. native, Humphrey became Student Government Association (SGA) president for 2007-08 in one of the closest elections in history. He won with a lot of hard work and a platform titled “Next Stop – Excellence.”

Barry Burch, Jr.

Barry Burch, Jr.

“I got about six hours of sleep the week of the election,” Humphrey said. “Hard work made the difference.”

A junior criminal justice major, the tall and soft-spoken Humphrey won by 10 votes. Outgoing and visible is how he describes himself as a leader of UNCP’s more than 5,800 students.

“No, I’m not quiet at all,” he said in a recent interview. “The thing I enjoyed most about the campaign was meeting people.

“I plan to meet a lot more people,” Humphrey continued. “My main goal is to be visible to students, so they will come talk about issues, big and small.”

Humphrey and his running mate Barry Burch, Jr. ran on a platform to “improve the campus and the surrounding community,” he said. He stressed campus safety and student spirit.

“We plan night walks to test emergency blue-light phones and look for areas that need lighting improvement,” Humphrey said. “We have worked hard on a tailgating plan to have a safe environment for people to enjoy themselves.”

Learning the art of face painting and leading the student cheering section are also on the agenda this summer. Football will be the rallying cry in the fall, and had it not been for a knee injury, the 6-foot 3, 205-pound Humphrey might have watched the game from the field instead of the stands.

“I resigned my position as a member of the senate to go out for football,” he said. “Like a lot of kids, I dreamed of playing college ball and professional sports, but I started having knee problems. That’s when I decided to run for president.”

Besides serving two years in the student senate, Humphrey is a member of the NAACP and a volunteer with the Center for Leadership and Service. He said a trip to a national leadership conference ignited his interest in running for higher office.

“I learned a lot about leadership at that conference, he said. “It sparked my interest in being a positive and productive leader on campus.”

Humphrey has ambitious goals for SGA for 2007-08.

“I want to recruit more members as at-large student senators,” he said. “I want this to be the largest student government in Pembroke history.”

Increased diversity in the SGA ranks is another goal of the new president.

“We’ve never had an international student on the Senate since I’ve been here,” he said. “I would like to involve international students, because I believe they can contribute their unique views and values.”

Humphrey said he was not involved in student government in high school, and he credits UNCP for his personal development.

“This college has opened doors for me,” he said. “There are small classes and the campus, which is small, actually medium-sized, is very friendly.

“I enjoyed the campaign because I got to meet a lot more people,” Humphrey continued. “UNCP students are concerned about the campus environment, and I want them to express it.”

Humphrey is working “9-to-5,” as he puts it, to make 2007-08 memorable on campus.

For more information about student government at UNCP, please call 910.521.6482 or email sga@uncp.edu.

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