Third-year Student Manasseh Konadu discusses what he’s learned thus far as the 2018-19 Worcester State University Student Trustee.
Written by Jess Evora, Assistant Director, OSILD
Photos provided by M. Konadu
As a first-generation college student, Manasseh understands the importance of getting involved on campus. Manasseh currently serves on the Campus Climate Committee and the Bias Incident Response Team. He is a Peer Mentor for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and an Event Chair for the Third World Alliance (TWA). He also helps coordinate the Young Men’s Group on campus.
Through his experience, Manasseh has come to learn the importance of the student voice when it comes to making large-scale decisions on campus. Therefore, he is doing everything he can to make sure he advocates for all students as WSU’s 2018-19 Student Trustee. We sat down with Manasseh to see how he is doing so far in this very important role.
1. Why did you decide to run for the Student Trustee position here at Worcester State?
Manasseh: “Last year, after the bias incident I found myself in a position where I had to stand up and speak for students. I realized that students’ perspectives and ideals needed to be presented at a higher level.
I knew that being able to communicate on a bi-weekly basis with the Trustees would do great things for the student perspective. I thought that having the respect as the Student Trustee would ensure that they would take me seriously, and thus far they have. We have been doing some great work ever since.”
“One of the first things we did was help create a Common Book program. We made sure that the topic of the Common Book involved race. We chose Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum.”
2. What has been the most interesting part of the experience thus far?
Manasseh: “The most interesting part is seeing the campus run as an organization where there are so many moving parts and so many different layers. It’s a process that you really need to sit down and engulf yourself in before you can do anything. It’s a maturing experience. I’m now able to understand how everyone’s small contributions are really not small at all.”
3. What, if anything, about your experience as Student Trustee has surprised you?
Manasseh: “The only thing that is really surprising is that everyone is human. The trustees are all human. They all have their families. They all have things going on. All our professors with PhDs are people like us. The president is a person.
At first when you see people in their suits, you tend to think this is who they are all the time. To be in the room helps you see the other side of them, that they are all human too.”
5. What has this experience taught you about leadership?
Manasseh: “I’ve learned that leadership is hard, and you can’t please everybody.”
6. It is clear that this experience as Student Trustee is an incredible opportunity for personal growth. What do you have planned once you complete your year as a Student Trustee?
Manasseh: “I really want to go to law school to be a prosecutor because I want to change the perspective that the judicial system has on the people. I think the problem in the judicial system is more a class divide rather than a racial divide. As of late, race has made a really big impact, but you have to keep in mind that most people of lower class are people of color. A lot of people try to affect change outside the system, but I want to be in the system, where I think I could do a lot more.”
Manasseh has set himself up perfectly to just that. He currently interns with the District Attorney for the City of Worcester.
Even more impressive, Manasseh is also the first and only student from Worcester State thus far who will be graduating a year early, and enrolling in law school at UMass Law in Fall 2019 as part of the new 3+3 Articulation Agreement.
However, in the meantime, Manasseh plans to continue to focus his efforts on advocating for all students at Worcester State as WSU Student Trustee.
Good luck Manasseh, as you finish out this year strong.
The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development.