Tennessee State University

Focused On Our Future

Focused On Our Future

By Aarian Forman

Coming into this year, we are in new territory. For the first time in our University’s history we will be governed by a local board. There is no need to fear this new place. Since our founding we have overcome the challenges that we’ve faced no matter the size. If this new structure of governance brings challenges, we will face them with the same optimism and fortitude that we have for the past one hundred and four years. We must take time to explore this new space and the opportunities that present themselves to us as a Tiger family. One of the major opportunities in this new territory that will propel us into a new dimension is competitiveness. This new legislation will give us the autonomy to, in essence, be our own boss.

As the fourth largest Historically Black College & University in the country Tennessee State has always shined bright among the other 100+ like institutions. The alumni, faculty and staff that have preceded us took on challenges with the grit and tenacity that ultimately led to their triumph. Now it is our turn to hold tight to the reigns of this carriage of excellence and guide our university forward to success. The new Focus on Colleges & Universities (FOCUS) legislation brings an array new adjustments pertaining higher education in the state. In addition to the new local board and other implementations, there is an emphasis on performance-based funding. This funding concept is aimed at expediting the increase of degrees to students who enter Tennessee’s two-year, four-year, community colleges and technical schools.

In order for our institution to continue to excel and stand out, both on the state and national level, we have to perform and achieve academically. We must MATRICULATE to GRADUATE. Although academic performance is not the only factor in Tigers staying and graduating, it is something that we can all relate to and put our best effort toward. Tigers, we have to continue to stay focused and sharpen our focus on being successful scholars. I have no doubt that we can sustain and further create a legacy of academic excellence. The 76th Administration utilized the fall semester to strategize and work with administration to review our academic policies. With the hope that review and augmentation of these policies will result in efficiency, efficacy, and excellence among students and faculty.

This semester we will be rolling out academic programs focused on building and maintaining effective study habits; creating opportunities for student-faculty networking; celebrating success through our “Dean’s List 50 for 50” campaign. Among many other efforts our aim is to help our peers get excited about academic success while providing keys to success in the areas of studying and post-graduate preparedness. Our S.T.A.R.T. Initiative encompasses all of the aforementioned facets which we believe will help keep us successful individually and collectively as a Tiger family. In addition to our academic focus, we are giving a great deal of attention to the internal governing structure of the Association. During the fall semester we worked to reshape and strengthen our constitution for efficiency and accountability for future administrations. For the first time in existence of this organization the 76th administration successfully passed an Amendments clause to be implemented in our constitution.

Furthermore, in my final semester as your President, I am excited to serve you in every capacity possible. One of the rising issues that we will face this semester is state lawmakers preparing legislation for students to be able to lawfully carry handguns on campus. Last year the Tennessee legislature passed a bill that allows full-time members of the faculty, staff and other employees to carry on campus. This administration will provide a platform students to learn and share their perspective on the proposal and we will amplify your voices to the legislature. Our only objective is to serve you. As your peers we are interested and invested in your personal success and future beyond the hallowed halls of this great institution.

Excellence is the product of accountability. The absence of accountability is indicative to the presence of apathy. This is our year of unity and growth both intrinsically and extrinsically. As we continue on our journey forward I am confident that we can and we will stay focused, not only on our collective future, but also our individual attainment. If there is anything that we can do to enhance your experience here at State, I ask that utilize us as a conduit for change, email us at sga@tnstate.edu; or DM us on Instagram and Twitter @tsulit76. My main focus is to ensure that we have just the right ingredients to create a holistic collegiate experience that will assist us in honing the skills necessary to bolster our personal and professional goals. Let us continue to fight to meet Alma Mater’s mandate with faith that’s true.

In the Essence of Tiger Pride,

Aarian J. Forman

76th President of the Student Government Association



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