Meet the Legion of Black Collegians’ 2015 executive board

There are three juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen on LBC’s 2015 executive cabinet.

The Legion of Black Collegians’ 2015 executive board was announced April 10.

LBC’s mission this year is “reaffirming our future by investing in our present.” With this new goal in mind, LBC wants to focus on freshmen and outreach.

The new mission was worked on by LBC President Warren Davis and Vice President Steven Blakley.

“We’re going to work (together) great and I’m really excited for this cabinet,” Davis said. “They are all really sure of their purpose and themselves as individuals. Having strong leadership as a base will contribute to having a strong year in LBC as a whole.”

Warren Michael Davis, junior President Major: Communications Hometown: Aurora, Illinois

As president, Davis hopes to provide a safe and positive environment for LBC’s members and give back to an organization that means so much to him.

“I’ve grown a lot in LBC, and it’s given me a safe space to explore myself and experience a lot of positive things that have contributed to the person I am today,” Davis said. “I want to continue to build and grow that space for others so they can have those positive experiences as well.”

As part of LBC’s new mission, Davis said he hopes to invest in new students so they can find a home in LBC as soon as they step on campus and they, too, can reinvest in LBC in the future.

“We really want to solidify a strong student base through (freshmen), invest in them and develop them as leaders and people now,” Davis said. “We want to make sure that everyone feels like LBC is a safe space and a home and that starts with freshman year and that continues on during your time at Mizzou.”

Davis’ vision is for the organization to represent its students effectively and implement positive change across campus.

“I want to tackle different issues and be able to be a firm base that people can rely on,” Davis said. “I think we’ve taken some great steps forward this school year and I want to continue that. I know that change doesn’t come overnight but we don’t want to face the same problems in 30 years that we’re facing now.”

Davis said he is looking forward to working with the rest of the leaders in LBC.

“My biggest strength is an open mind,” Davis said. “I don’t have the answers to everything and it will be necessary for me as president to rely on our senate and our general body for those answers. At times I have been strong headed, but that’s not the way to be as a leader, so being open minded and positive is going to help me.”

Steven Blakley, junior Vice President Major: International Business Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee

LBC Vice President Steven Blakley previously served as the government’s finance chairman for two years. In his new role, he strives to help LBC improve itself and reach its highest potential.

“I really want LBC to get back to its foundations, which are leading, building and climbing,” Blakley said.

While Blakely aims to have LBC return to its foundations, he does have the new main goal of “reaffirming the future by investing in our present.”

This means making LBC’s resources and organizations more visible to freshmen and getting them more aware sooner, he said.

“If we start young and build students up through LBC, it will be like a continuation,” Blakley said. “There are a lot of people who just don’t know (about LBC) so we want to make sure everyone has at least one opportunity to find out what LBC is. I want LBC to be in the conversation just like any other organization.”

To do this, Blakley said he hopes to increase LBC’s presence in the community and have more face-to-face interactions.

“I want everybody to come to our events and to hear what we’re talking about,” Blakley said. “As much as we want other black students to be a part of LBC, we want other people to know too so there’s no barrier.”

Shawn McCalmon, junior Finance Chairman Major: Business Marketing Hometown: Atlanta

The finance chairman’s main role is to create and balance the budget and to make purchases with umbrella organizations that LBC funds. Shawn McCalmon said he was attracted to this position because of his love for finances.

“I actually love budgeting, and I even budget for myself,” McCalmon said. “I’m thinking about going into financing.”

Through his position, McCalmon said he hopes to reach out to the freshmen class as part of LBC’s main goal.

“I want to let freshmen know what LBC is all about and how they can use it to learn more about their culture,” McCalmon said. “I want to reach out to the black community so we can excel academically and come together as an unit.”

He said his versatile personality is his strongest suit, and wants to use it to get people work more cohesively.

“Everyone comes from different backgrounds,” McCalmon said. “But we can use our strengths to come to get as a cohesive unit.”

Shelby Anderson, sophomore Communications Chairwoman Major: Communications Hometown: Denver

As communications chairwoman, Shelby Anderson is responsible for connecting LBC to the rest of the student body through social media, emails and writing the Big XII book, which features LBC’s umbrella organizations and events.

Anderson said she is dedicated to LBC and through her position she hopes to spread that passion across campus.

“LBC has been my heart and soul,” she said. “I want to be the reason freshmen find their place and why students get involved and come to our events.”

Anderson said she hopes her encouraging and positive personality will allow her to bring different perspectives and ideas together into one.

“I’ll be able to get what everyone’s trying to say and bring it together as one so we can come to a home base and unite,” Anderson said.

She said she also hopes LBC can connect with students of other backgrounds. LBC Senate meetings and events are open to everyone, so she encourages all students, no matter what race they are, to attend and participate.

“I hope everyone feels welcome,” Anderson said. “We are an open family and we’re here for all students. I hope as the years go on we continue to do bigger and better things.”

Marshall Allen, freshman Political Chairman Major: Political Science and Black Studies Hometown: Kansas City, Kansas

Marshall Allen’s role entails keeping up-to-date on current events and serving as a liaison between LBC and other social justice organizations that LBC works with. This role is a natural fit for him, he said.

“This is really me,” Allen said. “I’ve always been very involved in my community and have kept up with current events. (This role) really speaks to me.”

Through his position, Allen said he hopes to spread knowledge about LBC and also learn about himself.

“As the political chair of the only black student government in the nation, it’s such a blessing,” Allen said. “I’m looking forward to what I can learn from this and what I can teach others.”

He said he hopes to continue to give back to his community and through his new role, he can do even more.

“I believe in the concept of service through leadership,” Allen said. “My title on paper makes me no different from the rest of the general audience who doesn’t have a title. With this title, more is expected of me so I can do a little more. I really want to give back and my passion helps me do that.”

Darius Thurston, sophomore Activities Chairman Major: Business Administration Hometown: Chicago

As activities chairman, Darius Thurston is responsible for planning, organizing and executing LBC’s events. In his position, Thurston said he hopes to show other students what it’s like to be a part of the LBC’s community.

“I want to show off how much of a family aspect we have within LBC,” Thurston said. “We really grow as individuals not just within the black community but also as an entire student body on campus.”

Through LBC’s committees, Thurston said he hopes to represent LBC positively and spread awareness about its mission.

“(Activities) expose people to more knowledge about African American students and help people grow as individuals,” Thurston said. “We need to continue to let people know who we are in a positive light.”

Thurston said he hopes his inclusive personality will help him.

“I’m really great at including anybody that is a part of the committee and people outside the committee,” he said. “We have to make sure we reach out to people who aren’t as involved and give them a purpose.”

Asha Hopton, freshman Executive Secretary Major: Biology Hometown: St. Louis

Asha Hopton’s main responsibility as executive secretary will be keeping students informed about LBC’s events and reaching out to students.

She is tasked with writing the LBC newsletter and tabling in the MU Student Center as part of outreach.

“I’m most looking forward to talking to new people and getting them involved,” Hopton said. “I’m really excited about letting people know what LBC is all about.”

Hopton’s outgoing personality is essential to an executive board, she said. This will assist her in reaching out to students and improving LBC as a whole.

Sammie Arnold, freshman Freshman Action Team co-chairman Major: Political Science Hometown: Kansas City

The Freshman Action Team is an organization within LBC that caters specifically to first-year students looking for a place to call home on campus. F.A.T. plans events and hosts other activities to ensure freshmen feel welcome when they first get to MU.

Meanwhile, the co-chairpersons also act as a resource and guide to the incoming students.

The team strives to follow LBC's main mission statement, "reaffirming our future by investing in the present." They invest in the freshmen class, thus investing in the future of MU’s campus, Arnold said.

“I want to create a loving and a growing environment,” he said.

Through his position, Arnold said he hopes to have an impact on the future leaders of LBC and continue to improve the organization.

“My biggest personal strength is my innovative personality,” he said. “I am able to think outside the box and bring new concepts and ideas to the table. I hope to give freshmen a voice of their own and ... allow them to reach their full potential.”

Bobbi Watts, freshman Freshman Action Team co-chairwoman Major: Journalism Hometown: Kansas City

Bobbi Watts said she was attracted to her new position because she wants to build relationships among freshmen in LBC.

“My major goal this year is to make sure the freshman class is cohesive in providing an environment in which they feel comfortable and essential,” Watts said.

As a student-run committee, Watts said she hopes to facilitate the new freshmen’s goals, whatever those may be.

I’m looking forward to seeing the freshmen’s reaction to the events LBC already has in place but also their goals for what they plan to accomplish this upcoming year,” Watts said. “I can lend advice and service to wherever I’m needed."

As co-chairwoman with Arnold, Watts said she believes they have a good balance.

“Arnold is more outspoken while I’m more laid back, so we have a good mix,” she said. “We can work off each other’s strengths.”

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