Reframing and Redefining: In Conversation with the 85th President-Elect Johnathan D. Hill

Seconds before speaking at the Southern Association for College Admissions Counselors Conference in Miami, Fl. Johnathan Hill received the phone call of a lifetime. After campaigning, debating, and praying, Hill had been elected the 85th President-Elect of the Student Government Association. A position highly revered, Hill is certainly ready to lead the student body.

In a 2014 article, the Maroon Tiger editorial board asserted, “A suitable candidate should be balanced, being both innovative and personable while also being professional and guardedly responsive when necessary,” and Hill embodies said characteristics. Undeniably, the student body chose the right candidate, one who possesses an admirable passion for the institution.

“Honestly, I couldn’t believe it. I happened to be in Miami when I found out, and I got a phone call just like ‘yo, you won’, and I broke down immediately, literally crying tears,” 85th President-Elect Hill said. “People were trying to understand why. It’s just one of those things I’ve dreamt of, just the history of Morehouse, to know that the student body supports and believes in your vision, your plan to come to fruition on campus, it just means a lot. I don’t think emotionally I knew what it meant until I heard those words: you won.”

Hill vanquished adversity held against him. Before elected as Morehouse College’s Student Government Association’s newest president, he prevailed against several obstacles between him and the presidency.

“I lost my dad at nine to the military, so I didn’t have a prominent male figure in my life. I was raised by a single mom, on and off of work, two older sisters, and two younger. There’s so many things I go through family wise,” Hill said. “Just knowing that my mom didn’t finish college, this is a really big deal for her, especially coming to Morehouse because they weren’t even on the radar for me when I was applying to schools. She always said she wanted the best for me, the best for her son, and I didn’t know what that was like until I started saying the same thing about myself, that’s all a parent wants for you – the best for yourself.”

Again, Hill embraced hardship, and used his complications as metaphors in regard to the student body to emphasize with his peers. On voting day, Hill even set up a station on Brown Street to foster a personal relationship with students. Considering that he’ll be put in a position representing 2000 students, it’s only fitting that he learns from them, which in return will allow him to be a better leader.

“When I hear about students in the office of housing and problems they go through of not being able to shower, I think about when I was homeless with my mom, like that’s crazy,” Hill said. “Even when I think about students being alienated, I’m a transfer student, and transfer students come into Morehouse and they are sometimes forgotten about. Like, ‘they’ve gone to school, they’ll find their way’.”

Hill’s running mate, vice president Ryan George, shared a political and brotherly bond.

“We both had a passion for leading and helping others. It was around early this year, fall 2015, where we had the vision of working together, and we think that we work well together and that we know how to handle friendship and business,” George said. “We both understand we have to get stuff done and we are very passionate about it. We have a great relationship.”

Regardless of the trials and tribulation Hill has faced, he received 55.5 percent of votes in the run-off election, between him, and senior Robin McKinnie, and will be Morehouse College’s 2016-16 SGA president.

“This is probably one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever felt in my life. I literally had to take a second and pray. My dad always told me, never beg for something because you won’t be able to appreciate it when it comes to you,” Hill said. “And I didn’t beg for this, I really, really worked hard, and I got to see it through the end line.”

Update: Johnathan D. Hill is the 85th President-Elect of the Student Government Association, not the 87th.

_________________

Chad Rhym

Campus News Editor

Chad.Rhym@morehouse.edu

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