Interview with Student Body President Candidate Khari Cyrus
‘Uniting the Pack’: Cyrus’ message supports diversity and pushes for inclusion
CHRIS HART-WILLIAMS | Editor-in-Chief
Khari Cyrus said he’s had conversations with peers who’ve shared with him that they won’t be coming back the next semester, whether it’s because the university doesn’t carry their major, they simply can’t afford school or they don’t feel welcomed or comfortable at N.C. State.
“This is something that has bothered me extremely and I wanted to run so that I could address theses issues, through my platform,” said Cyrus one of three candidates running for Student Body President.
Cyrus’s platform addresses affordability, support and collaboration, and student life. He said he believes his platform and goals as president are all encompassing and inclusive of the entire student body. He identifies support and collaboration, and improving student life as top priorities.
According to Cyrus, a goal of he and his running mate Nate Bridgers, candidate for vice president, is to instill a passion for improving life on campus and making everyone feel safe and comfortable.
“Looking back at NC State’s history of student body presidents the last black president that we’ve had was Tony Caravano which was back in 2004-2005, and of course if elected I wont be the student body president for black students on campus, I’ll be the student body president for all students on campus, but I also think its important to realize that all of my experiences will definitely help me be able to connect with people across campus on a more personal level”
Cyrus said his experiences on campus as a student and leaders have made him confident that he can ensure that students feel comfortable and that there voices are being heard and someone is advocating for them to the board of trustees and administration.
“Every year people talk about their concerns regarding a rise in student fees”, said Cyrus.
“It’s our goal to make sure tuition and fees stay low as possible, but also recognizing student fees go to great things like the counseling center and the health center.”
Cyrus said he would like to implement hosting town hall councils so students can come in and see where their fees are going.
He said he and Bridgers would like to work with administration and communicate to them where students think funds needs to be going. Making it a more student involved process in determining how our money is being spent.
Cyrus said financially ending support for some initiatives might be necessary in the future. His position is that programs that serve students the least should seek more money from outside resources so Student Government funds can be used for its other initiatives.
“We’re really just trying to find a way to maximize the student dollar and take it as far as we can go and that includes maybe withdrawing a little Student Government support from programs and initiatives across campus and encouraging them explore other options, which is one thing they already do.”
Cyrus and Bridgers are the most st Veteran Candidates in the Student Body President/Vice President Elections, according to their website. Cyrus has served as Student Government Leadership Development chair and Bridgers, Secretary of Tuition and Fees. Bridgers is a sophomore studying accounting. Cyrus currently studies biological sciences, but has added political science to his course load because he no longer has plans to become a doctor like he once did. “I got here and I realized there were so many other opportunities.”
Cyrus said now his goal after graduation is to attend law school and practice law in N.C., he wants to focus on public health and public policy.
“For me I’ve been involved with leadership positions for a long time now, I’ve been fortunate enough to be in theses positions and have learned from leadership training and making mistakes.”
Cyrus said as a student leader he’s developed skills, such as time management, delegating tasks and active listening.
The Park scholar said serving as president of his fraternity the Kappa Lambda Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. has helped him grow as a leader and understand what students want.
“There’s no point in hosting programs and initiatives just for the sake of hosting them and its something students have expressed to me before,” said Cyrus.
He said one of the things he’s learned in his leadership positions is that you can’t have a leader without people behind them supporting them.
“Something I like to say when I discuss leadership is a leader is somebody who can inspire shared vision amongst the group and instill in them enough passions so that even when that person is removed from the situation they are still willing to go out and do what needs to be done,” Cyrus said. “That’s the approach I’m looking at Student Body President with.”