When it comes to dedication, strength and humbleness, those are all the qualities of Clark Atlanta’s Student Government Association (SGA) Vice President, Amari Baker.
The graduating senior spoke on what she was thinking before and after being elected to office. Baker said moments like being an Orientation Guide and SGA Intern for Clark Atlanta University helped to shape how important community was for her. “To be able to get involved with not only the institution as an Orientation Guide and SGA Intern, but to be able to make an impact in the community around me; tutoring elementary and middle schoolers, giving back to those who are less fortunate and meeting trailblazers like Thomas W. Cole Jr., John Lewis and Stacy Abrams,” she stated.
When asked about what the highlights of being VP, she noted that serving the student body is the biggest. “They’re the ones who matter most to me. I’ve seen firsthand students’ voices and concerns go unheard and I knew that with me being the Undergraduate Vice-President, I can do a lot more just by being hands on with the student body,” Baker stated. Even though the position is virtual, Baker does not let that stop her by pushing herself with the school motto, “Find a Way or Make One.” She stepped into the position with the knowledge that it would be completely different compared to prior on-campus years, but her determination to serve the student body kept and is still keeping her strong.
When recounting on the moment she won, she talked about how shocked she was. “I was very much shocked at the number of votes I got. But at the same time, I was ecstatic and overwhelmed,” Baker said. From that moment she never forgot the support that she not only receive from the student body, but from alumni and faculty as well. She thanked everyone that supported her. Though she had a great time campaigning, there were also some challenges along the way.
“No matter how prepared I was with my campaign and platform, I still faced challenges with meeting the quick deadlines and making sure my platform reached if not all, then the majority of the student body,” she said. “And this was my first time campaigning in a virtual space (social media).”
Just like her other council and royal family members, Baker is a student before she is SGA VP. Her workload does not get in the way of her position, but she makes note that it is not easy. She is being looked at by peers and faculty 24/7 while issuing constant help to the student body no matter what the issue is. From personal experience, this is very true. Baker helped me with a few problems over the summer that the University did not have straight answers to, but Baker was there to sort out the issue and get to the bottom with a quick response.
She talked about how her fellow SGA council and royal family members are what she calls a “tag team unit.” They handle burning issues at hand and try to do what they can to either eliminate or diffuse the situation. Although being virtual has made it slightly harder to bond they are still very close to one another.
With the months dwindling down to graduation, Baker talked about how grateful she was to experience pre-COVID-19 campus life. Although it was only two and a half years on campus it was enough to build bonds and experience the HBCU lifestyle.
For students seeking to run for the 2021-2022 school year Baker gave some advice. “Please don’t do it for the titles/position or ‘clout.’ Being a leader is more than that,” Baker said. “TV Executive Donald McGannon stated that ‘Leadership is not a position or title; it is action and example.’ You have to be able to be transparent, honest and genuine in positions like SGA and the Royal Court. Don’t lose yourself trying to be someone that you’re not.”
“We made it through 4 long, rigorous years together. You are all some very creative, inspirational, and talented individuals who I know will go far in life. Keep pushing forward and DON’T look back,” she said to her fello GRADUATING class. We thank Amari Baker for her service as SGA VP and many need to be watching out for the name in the coming years. This trailblazing individual is already well ahead on a path of success.