Kyera Bryant, the president of SGA, gave a speech in Chapel about SGA’s mission statement for this school year: Ohana.
In the Hawaiian culture, Ohana means family, but the saying associated with the word was made famous by the popular Disney film, Lilo and Stitch: “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”
Bryant recalls a training session for SGA being the source for this theme. During this session, the student executives considered everything our student body needed. Bryant recounted, “A lot of those areas had to do with relationships and interactions between administration and other people on campus, and [among] the student body themselves.”
In light of ENC’s recent changes around a new president and a relationship with Trevecca, Bryant and her council saw this theme was needed even more. Bryant explained her reasoning, “It’s easy for us to get caught up and feel like we’re on the back end of things, so we formulated the message of ohana, coming from the idea of family and wanting to embrace the culture of ENC.”
While ohana is a fun theme, invoking pleasant memories of the childhood movie, the execution of the message is difficult to enact. How does a small group of students force the idea of family and community on an entire population of students? Aware of this, Bryant strongly believes that it will be easier to make students feel more welcome because of the diversity of this year’s SGA members. Bryant feels that the diversity, ideas, connections each of the students on the council have will make it easier to reach out to different students on campus.
Bryant also says that SGA will only plan events that are in concordance with their mission statement, so the underlying theme of Ohana is in everything that they do. In addition, there is the Student Senate, which is made up of different student leaders on our campus, so this allows for more inclusiveness.
As our president, Bryant’s main focus is relationships, loving people, and pouring this love and devotion unto others. “This SGA is very excited to be serving for our community,” said Bryant, “and this is a very pivotal year for ENC. We want to be here to support the student body the best we can and be a resource to really foster a community of love and justice like our mission statement says.”
Bryant delivered the speech on Wednesday, September 13.