In order to build a good, solid house, you need the right materials, strong tools, a determined contractor, a building plan and a little bit of luck. A group of people can start up and complete a livable house in a week. It’ll be big and comfortable, but there is one missing characteristic that will turn a house into a home — love. That is element the recently elected student body president Quentin Graves wants to incorporate into his leadership.
Graves is a junior international development studies, psychology and history triple major hailing from an hour east in Hicksville, Ohio. He fell in love with the campus when he came on a visit with a friend, and has wanted to see it flourish since. He has invested in the guys in Wright Hall as a resident assistant and in the lives of future Foresters through his work in the admissions department.
He says that if someone would have asked him if he wanted to run for president at the beginning of the year, it’s likely his answer would have been different than it is now.
“Over the course of this year, I realized how much I really loved Huntington,” he says. “I want to see the present and the future of this university prosper, and I feel I can do that by pouring out love and instilling change.”
On the topic of change, Graves is focused on bridging the apparent gap between the administration and the students. This plays into his slogan, “Making HU Home”.
“In the ‘home-y’ atmosphere I’m trying to instill here on campus,” he says, “the admin fill the role of the ‘parents,’ and the students are the ‘kids.’ Family functions are positive experiences when the parents and kids are able to get along.”
Mending this relationship is step one for the new president.
He also hopes to strengthen the relationship between international students, commuters and the on-campus students.
“Going to campus events should be thought of as going to family get-togethers,” he says.
Graves and the rest of the Student Government Association are focused on creating a new atmosphere on campus. They are playing around with the idea of worship nights every so often at the MCA. They will also continue to pursue the alcohol policy change and improved quality of campus dining.
Graves sings the praises of the current president, Millie Smith, and the rest of SGA for the work they have done this year.
“[Millie] has built an incredibly strong foundation this year that my administration and I are looking to build off of this next fall,” he says. “She is passionate about the students here at Huntington, and she has had the courage to stand up for them. I hope to have a similar passion for my fellow-students. I want them to know how much I care about them.”
The main point Graves wants the students of HU to know is that he loves them.
“The role of the president is for them,” he says. “I speak for them, but that doesn’t make me higher than them. I want to walk beside them. I want to be a beacon of light for them. I want to push them and the university as a whole to be the best they can be. I want to make this place a home.”
Graves and his Executive Board team of Adrianna Holst (Vice President), Sheriece Wingo (Treasurer) and Libni Garcia (Secretary) will be taking the reins from current SGA president Smith and her team at the end of this academic year. They are looking to continue their predecessors’ work in bettering Huntington University, as well as starting their own work in making this university the best it can be by “making HU home”.