Newest SGA president promises change, commitment
When Charles Haston graduated high school, he didn’t have any interest in coming to UH.
“You’re really not supposed to say that as student body president, but I didn’t. When I got here my first year, I really wasn’t all that happy here. But by my sophomore year, this school … was a completely different school,” Haston said.
“There’s no other school in the country where students know what Tier One even is, let alone running around in T-shirts by the thousands with Tier One written across promoting it, let alone even caring about it. That kind of student body — you just don’t see that.”
As the newly elected representative of that body, Haston, a graduate student whose administration began Tuesday, has boasted his passion for UH as the motivating factor behind his presidency.
Following in the footsteps of former SGA President Cedric Bandoh has been acknowledged as a weighty task in itself, and Haston has expressed his desire to make his administration a continuation of Bandoh’s.
Incoming vice president Erica Tat, however, said she has faith in Haston based on his unwavering commitment to UH. Haston won’t simply meet the standard set by Bandoh — according to Tat, he has what it takes to exceed it.
“Charles knows he has big shoes to fill,” Tat said. “With his motivation … we’ll be able to live up to what Cedric has done so far and keep on improving the University. He’s told me things about the University that I didn’t know because I wasn’t here … That’s very unique.”
Citing a need to “change the way the Senate works,” Haston preached an agenda of increasing SGA’s visibility among the student body. Doing this, Haston explained, should bolster student engagement and awareness of how the organization gives back to the University.
“I think SGA, especially the executive branch, does a tremendous amount of work that students unfortunately aren’t aware of. In an attempt to be humble, we haven’t put our name on everything we do, like the Redline app,” Haston said.
“If this organization is going to be successful, we’ll need to be extremely visible to the student body. That’s my goal. I want this organization to be visible.”
Shane Smith, a personal friend of Haston’s and former SGA presidential candidate for Cougar Pawlitics, said he thinks many fail to see the compassion that motivates Haston to strengthen UH.
“He’s more thoughtful than you might think,” Smith said. “A lot of people who are headstrong, people think they make brash decisions without thinking, but I really think he’s going to take the time and thoughtfully consider what the students want. Haston’s a good guy.”
Having been at the University since 2007, Haston was given a rare opportunity to experience UH before and during President and Chancellor Renu Khator’s restorations.
Now, Haston said, the knowledge of how far UH has come serves as a strong motivator to continue propelling UH to new, unprecedented heights.
“The end isn’t something I’m really thinking about. I’m just trying to focus on what I have to do,” Haston said.