Devin Majors issues farewell to UTM students

Note: The following was written by the University of Tennessee at Martin's Student Government Association Devin Majors. Majors hoped to give his farewell on Thursday, April 23 at the SGA Banquet, but, as all campus events have been cancelled, he wasn't able to give his speech. So he approached us about publishing his words.

Majors and Chancellor Carver - Convocation

Fellow Skyhawks, My name is Devin Majors, the 2018-2020, Student Government Association President of the University of Tennessee at Martin. I began this journey way back in Fall 2016 when I first joined the Student Government Association as a member of the Freshman Council. I remember being so eager to work on behalf of the students and all the big ideas that I had. From the hour long debates on controversial legislation, the many programs/events that we hosted, and the fixes & change that we brought to campus; I have truly enjoyed my time in SGA and as a Skyhawk. When I was first elected President, I had no idea what the future had in store. I was only the 5th African-American to hold this position, no one in my family had experience with student government, and I inherited a student body that needed to regain confidence in their SGA. I was just a young kid from Nashville with ambitions and dreams as the soared as far as the eye can envision. With passion and perseverance some of the major changes that we were able to bring about were: ● Drastically increasing the level of Diversity & Inclusion within the SGA Senate and Freshman Council ● Implementing Student Appreciation Week and Skyhawk Spring Fest Traditions ● Creation of the NPHC Greek Garden ● Completely reforming the SGA Constitution and its Bylaws and adding a new Code of Conduct for its members ● Implementing an Off Campus Dining Program for Students ● Improving the level of outreach and support for student organizations. You may have noted that I wrote the pronoun “we,” and that reason is simple. No one person can accomplish great things alone, we all need to be surrounded by great people to make things happen. Michael Jordan once said, "talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships." To my E-Board Team: — Brandon Anderson, Hunter McCloud, Esmeralda Mejorado, Jacob Butler, Veronica Kanka, Cecilee Morris, and Audrey Adams. Thank you for believing in me to lead. You all continued to push me forward and picked me up when I fell down. Through the good and the bad, I always had an E-Board that I could rely on to support me and bring me back to the earth when my dreams floated to the moon. To my Legislative Council team and all SGA members: — Thank you for being dedicated to representing the student body. Many of you sacrificed so much to make all the required meetings, events, office hours, etc. You all are the backbone of the organization. Continue to stride and bring positivity to the campus. To my Mentors: — Anthony Prewitt, Chancellor Carver, John Abel, Mark McCloud, Brandon Jones, Emilio Walls, John Blue, Annie Jones and David Barber. I am forever indebted to you for your inspiration and advice over the last four years. You all always kept it “real” with me, yet never let my fears or insecurities win the battle. I always could count on each of you during my moments of doubt. Continue to change the lives of people when they walk through your doors and enter your lives. Finally, to my family: — My mother, my Stepfather, my Great-Aunt Carolyn, my Brother Mareo, my Uncle Josh & Aunt Miatta. My linebrothers: Gerrard, Hamilton, and Porter. And my First Lady, Sarolyn Fox. You all have been there for me since the day I met you. Each and every one of you has played an instrumental role in this college journey and allowed me to make it this far. From financial support, lending your shoulder to cry on, offering a place for me to be vulnerable, and your countless encouraging words. I could always rely on you all to support me, even when I felt backed into a wall. I will forever cherish the bonds that I have made with each and everyone of you. While my time as President has come to an end, I remain confident in the abilities of the 69th General Assembly of the Student Government Association to continue to be advocates for change and empower the student body. Under the leadership of Hunter McCloud, I believe that the SGA can continue to grow, learn, and inspire change. As the longest tenured member in SGA, I have personally witnessed the next generation of student leaders grow and be molded into the advocates they are today. Always support them, protect them, love them, and hold them accountable. Finally, please feel free to connect with me via social media on Facebook at “Devin Majors” and on Twitter @dual_devin and Instagram @dual_devin. For more information regarding the UT Martin Student Government Association, please visit their website and social media pages. Wishing peace and positivity to you all and may God bless you and the entire UT Martin community. It has been my honor and pleasure to serve this campus community. Sincerely, Devin Majors SGA President (2018-2020)

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