“What’s funny is that I wasn’t too involved,” says Andrew George with a smile, referring to his first year at MTSU.
It’s funny because George, 22, a senior marketing major from Smyrna, is saying this from behind a tidy desk that furnishes his own office on the third floor of the Student Union Building. It’s funny, because one wouldn’t expect the new Student Government Association president to describe his dedication to campus life with any air of apathy.
According to George, this all changed the day he met James Lee while hanging out with some of his friends. Lee would go on to become the 76th SGA president, and George’s predecessor.
“He said, ‘Man, you have a bright future ahead of you if you want to be a leader,” recalls George.
From then on, George took strides to become involved in the various extracurriculars MTSU has to offer. He began by joining the National Society of Leadership and Success and Enactus, a business nonprofit. He then went on to join the marketing fraternity, Pi Sigma Epsilon, and soon became its vice president of marketing. George’s involvement there led directly into his position as T-shirt chair at his fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega, but his love of tees goes beyond designing for ATO.
George loves listening to music as well as discussing it with others, and he first became interested in T-shirt design through the custom-made graphics he saw for pop-punk bands like Bring Me the Horizon and Pierce the Veil made by a company called Hotlife Clothing.
T-shirts are also a form of marketing, and, for someone who loves the social aspect of music fandoms, wearing recognizable brands can be a facilitator for networking, something George’s teachers told him would be invaluable in building a career.
“It’s so weird to be able to run into someone who’s wearing the same t-shirt as me, and you instantly click,” he says.
For George, T-shirts, especially those by alternative design houses like The Hundreds, Rebel 8, Hotlife Clothing and D Steezy, offer a confluence of his passions for both music and marketing.
It wasn’t until the spring of 2014 that Andrew George made the decision to apply for the SGA senate.
“I defintely loved the position James Lee had, and basically shadowed him for a couple of months before e-board elections were coming out,” said George. “I definetely loved that I was able to speak my mind about campus to improve it.”
George’s knack for oration would come to be a vital part of his campaign for the office of president. He says the most invaluable part of his success was his “storytelling” and his ability to get his point across consisely.
“I knew that students were in a rush to not only eat or get to class, but to go to work or whatever they were doing,” said George.
He was proud to get his pitch down to two minutes, but two minutes would often naturally grow into 15 minute conversations. He apologizes to the students he made late for class.
His campaign slogan, “Do more of what makes you happy” was a loan from one of his favorite brands, Johnny Cupcakes. Once again, George was able to showcase his combined love for music, marketing and leadership.
The moral of George’s story is that it’s “never too late to get involved and develop your leadership skills.”
George says that four years ago, he would have never expected to be where he is today, and looking back at his freshman self makes him think “Whoa, what is this guy doing with his life?”
As for plans he has to help improve SGA, George hopes that the Senate will increase their presence on campus during his tenure.
“Last year in SGA, I felt that not only was morale low, but I felt like when I talked to students, they’d be like ‘What’s SGA about?’ or ‘What do you guys do?’” he explains.
George’s answer to those questions, for the record, is that the SGA is a voice for the students, and to “let students feel like they have a home here.”
He also intends to hold himself to a high standard of transparency.
“My door is always open for people to come meet with me or speak with me, [ask] questions if they want to learn more about me, or if they want to propose an issue, or if they just want to sing along with me to some N*SYNC,” says George. “’cause I definitely love N*SYNC.”
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