Post Classifieds

Helena Banks appointed as SGA vice president

By Jennifer Hostutler
On January 17, 2002

"I'm excited, I'm elated, I'm ready to just jump in and start all I plan to do," said Helena L. Banks who was appointed the new vice president of the Student Government Association at its meeting Tuesday night. Following the surprise resignation of Jenee Pierre at the end of the fall semester, SGA began the spring term in search of new leadership. After deliberation, President Stephen Sargent ultimately appointed Banks to the position."It was SGA gossip ever since I got back to school that it would either be me or someone else," Banks said. "Then one day I was walking to class with a friend, and Stephen was walking in my direction, and he said, 'Do you want to be vice president?' and just kept on walking. I made him turn around, face forward and ask me in a more professional way. He said it again and that's when I knew."Following the informal job offer, Banks was officially appointed before and confirmed by the SGA Senate, which has already seen its share of controversy after rumors of plans to impeach Pierre circled campus and were answered by her resignation. According to Banks, who ran against Pierre for the vice presidency last spring and was defeated, the resignation caught her off guard."At the time it surprised me that she (Pierre) resigned although of course I knew about the impeachment charges they were trying to bring against her," Banks said. Banks cites a lack of experience with SGA and involvement in many other activities as reasons why Pierre may have resigned her position."When we first ran against one another my campaign was based on the fact that I knew SGA. I was in SGA so I knew what they did and how it worked. Jenee's campaign was based more on new blood," Banks said. "If you know anything about SGA you know how much effort it takes; it's very time consuming."To just jump in to the vice president's position having never even been a senator and gone through the ropes would have been hard on anyone, even if you had 150 percent of your time to devote to SGA," Banks said. "She was already involved in so many other things and the slack had to fall somewhere. Really, I'm glad she chose to resign rather than do haphazard work."Sargent said Banks' level of experience with the organization was a key factor in his decision to appoint her as Pierre's replacement."She's been in SGA for a long time, she's always done a good job and had great ideas including the Bear F.A.C.T.S. Forum that won the 'Program of the Year Award,'" he said. "With all that happened with Jenee last semester we need to rebuild and I felt she was the right person for the job and would do it well."Banks said she is devoted to her new position and ready to give it her all for the good of the university."I want to give SGA 100 percent. I always have, even after I campaigned last year and lost, I was still there," Banks said. "Everyone knows I go in and do what I need to do, I take care of my business, and I'm not afraid to ask questions."According to Banks, although she was appointed vice president and not elected, students should know they can still count on her to address their concerns."The door to my office will always be open if I am there. I am a very personable person, one of those people you can come to and say, 'Hey I've got a problem, fix it,' and even if I don't know how, I'll find out who does," Banks said. "To me that is the key to everything. I'm ready to be there for the students."Banks' duties as vice president will include planning SGA events, acting as chair of the Senate Executive Committees, sitting on other vice presidential committees and filling in when Sargent is unavailable. Through her victories and defeats Banks said she has learned the value of hard work and perseverance. She hopes to turn her experiences into a chance to improve SGA at SHSU."Back when I lost I dealt with it, but I told my friends if my chance came today, tomorrow or 10 years from now I was going to work hard. When I leave here I want them to say, 'That child worked hard," and that's what I plan to do."

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