Pa Ousman Jobe has quickly made his mark on Seattle University as a student, an Alfie Scholar and now the 2017-2018 student body president.
Current SGSU president, Pa Ousman.
A finance major and economics minor who transferred last year from Highline Community College, Jobe previously served as Highline’s Student Body President and served last year as Seattle University’s Multicultural Representative.
Jobe doesn’t see a role in student government as a political one, instead referring to it as a servant-leadership role.
“I definitely do not want to associate myself with any kind of savior mentality,” Jobe said. “But I live in a system that has so many problems that affect all of us, we are all part of the problem and we need to be part of the solution and I have a part to play in it.”
Jobe sees his role as president carrying him into law to work for economic justice for the marginalized. He acknowledges that people all around the world are living in oppressive states and wants to fight alongside these communities.
“Our ancestors were fighting, our parents fought, we are still fighting so hopefully the next generation do not have to keep on fighting,” Jobe said.
When speaking of Jobe’s character, Director of the Alfie Scholars Program Carol Cochran said that he is not afraid to respectfully tell people what he knows they will not want to hear in order to help them reflect and grow.
“He’s the care leader, he’s about the building of community,” Cochran said. “He is very much committed to making a better experience for all students.”
Jobe focuses on community as he speaks of his role as President. He is hoping to facilitate a more inclusive community in which all voices, especially those of the marginalized, are heard.
The main areas of improvement that Jobe sees for Seattle University surround communication.
“Some issues I can say are a matter of miscommunication, some issues a matter of truth telling, some issues are out there because we do not want to engage or folks are afraid to engage,” he said. “It’s not just one person, one unit. But if we are a community, it’s affecting all of us.”
To address these concerns, Jobe plans to bring new voices to the drawing board by hearing directly from students about their priorities and issues on campus.
“There are people within our community that are not seen, not heard,” Jobe said. “I think it’s really important that we all take a moment to look around and see who is in the room, and who is at the table.”
Assistant Director of the Center for Student Development Michelle Harper Kowalczyk is excited to see what Jobe does as President. She notes his previous work as Multicultural Representative where he led efforts to connect Student Government at Seattle University and the Office of Multicultural Affairs, as well as bringing in the many cultural and identity clubs on campus.
“He has a great heart for the students and high expectations for student government,” she said.
Jobe also speaks of his goals for events in this coming school year. He looks forward to engaging with the students to platform for their issues.
Keeping Seattle University’s mission in mind, Jobe hopes to create an inclusive environment in which members of the community feel safe on campus. He wants marginalized students to feel protected and heard.
“Our mission states that we are educating the whole person,” Jobe said. “But it would be very hard for a student to bring the wholeness of who they are when the environment is not created.”
In pursuing that environment, Jobe invites dialogue, including those who disagree with him.
“I know not everyone is going to agree with me and that is normal. But I hope that people that disagree with me can feel empowered to come to me,” he said.
“I will also say that I do not stand for hate. We all make decisions. My decision is to stand with love and stand for oppressed and marginalized populations. I will always stand by that and I welcome all of us to really find it in our hearts to share that love and to stand before each other and stand up for the right things.”
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