Brenda Caldwell, a senior political science major from Greensboro, North Carolina was elected Student Government Association president last semester for the 2020-2021 term.
In addition to serving as SGA president, Caldwell is a part of the National Black Law Students Association and the University Honors Program. When she’s not advocating for N.C. A&T students, Caldwell is also the Political Director for the College Democrats of North Carolina.
Despite the highly unusual circumstances that Covid-19 has caused, Caldwell still has her eyes set on making an impact this school year.
Caldwell is committed to motivating students to attend city council meetings and to get more involved in their communities, including Greensboro. Also, she wants to educate students on how they can get engaged outside of just voting because she understands that some people do not want to vote; however, she still wants the students to be involved.
Caldwell’s goal this year is to increase communication with students, administration, faculty, and staff. With zoom now being a huge part of college students’ daily lives, Caldwell plans on utilizing this resource by possibly having student events with administration and faculty present on the app.
“We can’t do town hall’s in person, but I plan on having events with the Administration present, maybe on a zoom call, and have breakout rooms, just trying to] being creative,” said Caldwell.
Caldwell is also very focused on promoting voter education and voting for the upcoming general election. Due to the pandemic, and when students leave campus, she wants to ensure that no one gets registered incorrectly.
In Caldwell’s previous position, as Attorney General for the Gilmore Administration, she and her other colleagues such as Cole Riley, were able to open an early polling site for N.C. A&T. With much difficulty, Caldwell and her fellow colleagues partnered with Color of Change. This was done to create a petition, and attend every board of election meeting at 2 p.m., for five weeks to have a polling site on campus.
Now, N.C. A&T’s polling site is available for their students and the neighboring residents of Greensboro, but the board of election is not requiring masks when people come to the site. For any student that may be uncomfortable going to the polling site on N.C. A&T’s campus, Caldwell is pushing to set up shuttle services for students that feel more comfortable filling out an absentee ballot and delivering it downtown. During the 2019-2020 school year she was also able to register 648 students to vote in addition to the 525 registrations Caldwell collected from students in first-year and various other classes.
Caldwell is very optimistic and hopeful for this upcoming school year, and she expects to make a real impact in her position.
“I am super excited, it is a big deal to be SGA president of the largest HBCU in the nation,” she told the Register. “I am excited to get to serve such a diverse group of people and students from all over the place… and the pandemic makes things a little bit harder, but it forces us to be creative and think of innovative ways to do things that may be able to stay around once the pandemic is gone.”
After graduation, Caldwell will pursue law school.
“I plan to work as a labor and employment attorney and eventually become general counsel for a university,” she said, “While also doing pro bono work to represent people in marginalized communities who can’t afford adequate legal counsel.”