Dendy Leads as SGA Introduces New Constitution
Posted on: February 3, 2021
Tigerville, SC (September 30, 2019) Zion Dendy (expected ’21) was helping load up a cart at the back of Bi-Lo, one busy shift after school, when his manager overheard him directing some of the other workers to organize the boxes so that what they needed first would be most accessible, and they could stock the shelves more quickly.
His manager pulled Dendy aside.
“He told me he liked that. He told me I should try leadership because I was always getting stuff done in the store,” Dendy remembers. “So I decided there that when I got to college, I was going to try it.”
That’s why, even before he ever set foot on campus at North Greenville University, Dendy had decided he would run for the Student Government Association (SGA).
So his first year at NGU, Dendy ran for freshman class president. And he won.
The next year, he ran for sophomore class president. And he won.
Then, at the end of the Spring 2019 semester, he ran for student body president, the highest leadership role in SGA. And he won.
“Student government — I just enjoy it altogether,” he explains. “It’s like a separate group of friends you know on campus.”
With the help of his SGA friends, Dendy has worked at “getting stuff done,” just like his manager had predicted, during his two terms in office so far.
For example, Dendy noticed how much food in the Todd Dining Hall was getting thrown away. So he initiated the SGA’s first Waste Campaign. The campaign mission was to gain pledges from NGU students to be more intentional about the amount of food they dished out for themselves: those signing up made a simple promise to put on their plate only as much food as they could eat.
Dendy and his team canvased throughout the Spring 2019 semester. All in all, they gained 200 pledges, with each student receiving a bracelet to remind them of their commitment.
From the start of his SGA career, Dendy also cared about creating more fun events on campus for students. This past semester, SGA hosted its first Student vs. Faculty Softball Game, one of the most attended SGA-hosted events to date.
“That was the highlight of my time at NGU so far,” Dendy recalls. “People were saying they can’t wait for next year.”
Dendy adds that the event helped with another of his main causes: raising awareness about SGA.
“Some students on campus still don’t even know we have an SGA at NGU. That’s not okay,” he says. “We want everyone on campus to feel like they have a voice through student government.”
“Now, all of our colleges will have equal representation within SGA,” says Stuart Floyd (’16, MBA ’19), SGA staff advisor for the past three years. “This will help ensure the issues unique to each academic area can be heard and considered.” With the implementation of the new SGA constitution — which coincides with the start of Dendy’s presidency — NGU students get even more of a voice. The constitution ushers a shift in SGA membership, as the traditional four class presidents have been exchanged for one representative from each of NGU’s six colleges instead.
Dendy is also pushing for One Voice Week — when SGA members will set up on campus to show their faces, give advice to others in their major, and gather feedback from the student body — as well as open meetings each semester, where the whole student body can have an opportunity to share their ideas directly with the SGA team. (These meetings will be in addition to SGA’s monthly meetings with NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr., and the Fant Forums — where all students are invited to dialogue with Fant in person.)
“What I like most about SGA is getting to know people that you’ve never met before and giving them your ideas and them giving you their ideas,” Dendy says.
In fact, his experience in SGA is making Dendy rethink his post-graduation career goals. A mass communication major who currently works in promotions at Hot 98.1 radio station, Dendy could just as easily see himself going into sports media as local government someday.
He feels his experience at NGU, especially in SGA, has prepared him for whatever leadership opportunities lie ahead.
“Meeting so many other Christians and knowing you’re not alone walking through the world has been a big thing with me. Because in high school, it’s just basically school, home, homework, repeat. But at North Greenville, it’s school, home, Bible study, homework, repeat — and it’s with the same people that I also have class with,” Dendy says. “I believe that Christian community at North Greenville has made me a better leader.”