MTSU Student Government Association President James Lee, third from left, holds a discussion in the SGA office with members of his executive board. (MTSU News)
With a beaming smile and a winning way with words, it’s easy to see how James Lee was elected president of the Student Government Association at Middle Tennessee State University.
The Clarksville native, whose early years were spent on the road because of his father’s service in the U.S. Army, chose MTSU to take advantage of the freedom a college campus offers while staying close enough to home to keep in touch.
But instead of enjoying the summer with his family in Clarksville, Lee is poring over records and making connections on campus in preparation for the work that lies ahead.
“I’m definitely looking at the past three or four years of budgets,” Lee said. “I’m looking at what our money was spent on, what we can do to improve some of the programs that were implemented from the last three or four years, seeing what works, seeing what didn’t work.”
Lee said he intends to push for a truly transparent SGA that makes sure every student knows exactly what’s going on and where the money’s going.
In addition, the rising senior of Korean descent said he wants to represent all students, but he is concerned about those who feel left out.
“I wanted to be a voice for the students that weren’t really feeling represented or feeling underrepresented,” Lee said.
With three student orientation assistants on his executive board, Lee will have feedback from people who will help him get a handle on what matters to the student population.
He said he also intends to engage in greater promotion of the Student Food Pantry, a clearinghouse for nonperishable edibles for underprivileged students.
“It’s really more of an awareness thing,” said Lee. “People aren’t going to use the food pantry unless they know about it.”
As a finance and marketing major, Lee will have his hands full with the usual classwork and academic activities. However, he is well on his way toward fulfilling his campaign goal of creating “a sense of involvement, to really recognize students who might not feel as though they are welcome here at MTSU.”