Kierra Leggett | Editor-in-Chief 


Lauryn Collier (center) with her SLAM Campaign Team.

Lauryn Collier (center) with her SLAM Campaign Team.

First impressions are everything and from the moment she set foot into the Nubian Message office for a one on one interview, I knew that I would be SLAMing my vote for Lauryn Collier.

In fact, as soon as our interview came to an end, I tweeted from my personal Twitter account:

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While our March 12 interview was the first time that I had spoken with Lauryn about her candidacy for Student Body President, unlike the other candidates, it was not the first time I had seen her in Witherspoon Student Center, the African American Cultural Central or engaged with members of the African American community of N.C. State.

Lauryn’s commitment to the African American community has been evident through her roles as President of the Minority Association for Pre Health Students and Chair of the Black Students Board, as well as through her countless e-mails and tenacity aimed at getting black students involved in the naming of rooms in Talley Student Center and building relationships with the Black Alumni Society. Her commitment is also evident based on the tremendous support that the black community has given her.

Though her involvement on campus and professionalism has undoubtedly swayed many of us to SLAM our votes, I think what really sets Lauryn apart from the other candidates is that she owns her culture as well as who and what she is— a black woman— however, at the same time, she does not let this define her.

During our interview, Lauryn said to me that she didn’t think race should be a focal point in this election. “I think that people should focus on our ability, our leadership skills […] and our past history at State, the things we’ve spoken out on and the issues we’ve brought to the surface.”

As we all know, those things have been brought to the surface, especially in the case of SBP candidate Dwayne O’Rear. (Read about it here.)

His absence at the AASAC meeting to discuss his platform, social media comments and inability to own up to the things he has said in the past, have demonstrated that he does not have the best interest of the minority community at heart.

But, Lauryn does.

Before leaving my office, she said to me, “I just want the black community at N.C. State to know that I do care. I know my freshman year[…] I wasn’t as connected with the minority community, but being Black Students Board Chair, it brought me back and made me realize that there is a different experience. We can pretend as much as want that every student graduates with this Wolfpack pride that’s equal, but that’s not the case. I recognize the difference and I’m not afraid to say that. I’ve said it this whole year to upper administration, to advisors, and I’ll continue to say it. I believe I am the only candidate who is not afraid to say that.”

I believe it as well, and that is why I am SLAMing my vote, for Lauryn Collier for Student Body President.