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D’Leon Barnett, George Mason University’s student government president, has his fair share of obligations.
Barnett has been in student government for three years, beginning as a senator his freshman year.

“I was used to being a voting member of the senate family,” Barnett said. “Now I have to support the family.”

During those first three years, he was also a member of various student organizations such as the Black Student Alliance, Mason Life, the Gospel Choir and the Rotaract Club, which he helped cofound.

“[This year] student government is my life,” Barnett said.

Barnett explained that the transition from senator to president was a difficult one.

“As president, it is easier to get people to work together and promote unity,” Barnett said. “I can’t be biased. That was another difficult part; biting my lip when stuff comes up. My job is to support the roles of my secretaries, undersecretaries and senators; provide outreach to students and athletes, and convey concerns to the administrators.”

Barnett hopes to focus on a variety of issues concerning the student body, including boosting school spirit by creating a patriotic atmosphere at Mason. Events such as Gold Rush and Mason’s annual spirit event, which takes place on Nov. 13, will bolster the spirit of “Bleed Green and Gold.”

While spirit is a big issue for Barnett, he also wants to address the concerns of Mason students through campus events. For instance, with What Do You Want Wednesdays, members of the student government hand out cookies from the Spunk Buggy in exchange for comments on relevant issues. With the Night Walk, members of the Mason community gather to walk around campus to discuss problems and safety issues.

Another issue for Barnett is creating a visitor parking lot on campus. Such lots are common on other college campuses, but absent at Mason.

Barnett believes that his work in Student Government has shown him the best way to deal with issues: by getting them accomplished as soon as they occur.

“This experience has allowed me to put service above myself,” Barnett said.

While his presidency proves to be quite work-intensive, Barnett is also a senior studying integrative studies with a focus on education for social science. His future plans include joining Teach for America, an organization for educational equality, or attending Yale University as part of a teacher preparatory program.