September 19, 2017  

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CATCHING UP WITH CAMERON CLOUD

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Cameron Cloud is a junior biology and communication studies double major at The University of Southern Mississippi and the newly elected Student Government Association (SGA) president. Before being elected as president, Cloud served with the Freshman Forum and as an assistant director of Eaglepalooza. He is also a Luckyday Scholar and Honors College student.  We spent some time asking Cloud questions about his plans and goals as the new SGA president for the 2017-18 school year.  

Q: What led you to attend The University of Southern Mississippi? 

A:  I have lived and grown up in Hattiesburg my entire life. My father is a professor here at the university, and my parents raised me to be a Golden Eagle fan. From attending football games to seeing live bands perform at Eaglepalooza, I have been connected to campus from a young age. When the time came to decide where to attend college, Southern Miss truly felt like home! I couldn't find that "welcoming" feeling anywhere else. 

Q: How did you become a double major and why did you choose those particular areas of study?  

A: I chose to become a double major during the summer before my sophomore year. My passion lies with communicating with others, but my dream job is to be a psychiatrist. I have to take many science-related courses to qualify for medical school, and I felt that both majors would help me gain experience for my pursuit to one day become "Dr. Cloud." 

Q: What prompted you to get involved with student government? 

A:  It all started with Freshman Associates. My GEWW leader told me that SGA was the one organization that I had to join as a first-year student! She said that once I joined SGA, I'd never leave. She was right! 

Q: What are your goals for this year as SGA president? 

A: I have a few core goals for this next year. I will fulfill my entire campaign platform. I want to help students feel welcome at Southern Miss and to know that SGA truly cares about them. I want for Eaglepalooza to return to be bigger and better than ever. I want to build stronger student-to-student relationships and to form improved systems of communication with Southern Miss students on the Gulf Park campus. I want for my team to have an unbelievably successful year—primarily for the student body, but also for SGA.  

Q: What do you believe will be your biggest challenge this semester and how will you utilize certain skills to help you tackle them? 

A:  My biggest challenge will be balancing both Organic Chemistry 2 and SGA. I will have to utilize the skill of asking for help! This takes both humility and trust, which is oftentimes hard to have. I work with a team of five brilliant executive officers and a dedicated family of SGA representatives. We will all have to rely on one another to both succeed throughout the next semester and to effectively represent the student body.  

Q: What would you describe as being the most important leadership skill to have? 

A:  Leadership begins with service. I know that for many people – especially for Luckyday students – this answer sounds "cheesy." However, it is true. If a person is not more than willing to complete the tasks that he or she asks of others, then that person is not ready to lead.  

Q: How important do you think it is for students to be involved in the University and why? 

A: Campus involvement, in my opinion, may be the most important aspect of one's college career. It is impossible to "do college" alone. Becoming involved allows for you to enjoy college with others, and it also teaches you life lessons that will help you succeed in your career field. A wise friend once told me, "You will never grow as a person unless you are placed outside of your comfort zone." Being involved challenges me each day to grow, and I am so grateful for the opportunity. 

Q: What other organizations and clubs are you involved in on campus? 

A:  I am currently involved in Honors College, Luckyday, The Wesley Foundation and Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. I have previously been involved in organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and Lambda Sigma Honor Society. Due to the large time commitment that comes with being SGA president, I’ve had to limit my involvement in other organizations to fulfill my responsibilities within SGA. However, the various organizations that I have been involved in over the past two years have helped shape me into person I am today. They have greatly enhanced my Southern Miss experience, and I am grateful for the people who have poured into me and have encouraged me up to this point.

Q: What do you like to do during your spare time when you’re not busy with academic work? 

A: I love playing guitar, hanging out with friends and driving back home to spend time with my family! 

Q: What are your future career goals and how do you see serving as SGA president being beneficial to your career choice? 

A:  As aforementioned, I plan to attend medical school to become a psychiatrist. Although I don't plan to venture into politics, the role of SGA president has taught me how to better manage my time and has given me a new sense of professionalism. It has also confirmed my passion for people. These skills that I am learning will be invaluable during medical school, residency and throughout life.  

Q: As a student leader, how do you plan to leave Southern Miss better than you found it? 

A: Specifically, for this year, I want to help enable students to leave Southern Miss better than they found it. I want to help educate students about campus resources, to gather their feedback, and to help develop leadership skills both within and outside of SGA. I want for Southern Miss to truly feel like home for all students—regardless of who they are and where they are from. This means creating a more welcoming and all-inclusive atmosphere where a student can be part of a greater family of Golden Eagles.