LORMAN, Miss. – Being a student-athlete on the football team and holding a position of office in the Student Government Association are two time-consuming tasks that very rarely get bundled into one.
In fact, the task would be so tall that previous football coaching staffs did not allow their student-athletes to run for an SGA position.
But don’t tell that to senior linebacker Michael Hurns who will take his seat as SGA Senior Class President Monday, Aug. 22, when the fall semester begins at Alcorn State University.
“The coaches always thought it would be too hard for a football player to run for such a position,” Hurns said. “I actually wanted to run each year, and I finally got permission from my coaches this year to run for Senior Class President as coach [Fred] McNair gave me the green light.”
Hurns, a native of Cleveland, Miss., ran for office in spring 2016 and was unanimously voted Senior Class President for the 2016-17 calendar year. Hurns and his cabinet have already began working in the planning stages over the summer to get a head start on the upcoming campaign.
“I was ecstatic when I found out I won. It was a blessing to know that I had so much support and the students believed in me. My teammates showed me so much love during the process – they went out and advertised for me and encouraged others to vote for me. I’m so grateful for them and the entire student-body who instilled their trust in me. I’m ready to serve them,” Hurns said.
Hurns’ main duties include managing SGA funds, creating events on campus, spearheading community service events outside of Alcorn, visiting local schools to teach children, orchestrating meetings between students and staff and making sure the ideas of the student body are continuously executed.
“One of the great things about Mike Hurns is that he’s a great leader, not only on the football field but also in the classroom and academically. He presents himself with great class and character,” said head coach Fred McNair. “He represents the type of person that you always want in your program.”
SGA is its own leadership branch on campus that serves as the governing body responsible for representing student interests and needs on matters of University, county or state concerns. The purpose of the organization is to promote a spirit of fellowship, loyalty and school pride within the student body. SGA also serves as representatives on various University-wide committees, task forces and selection committees to ensure student representation.
Along with these responsibilities, SGA governs the extracurricular activities planning process. SGA advocates for students, plans Homecoming activities, Braves Fest activities, helps to coordinate its annual SGA election process, and many other services and programs.
“I really want to make sure that each class at Alcorn is united. I want to help seniors get resumes written so they can be assured jobs after graduation,” Hurns said. “Another one of my goals is to help make sure that all of the seniors graduate. I want to see all of my classmates succeed.”
On the field, Hurns played in all 13 games last year where notched 45 tackles with 27 solo and 18 assisted. He registered three sacks and six tackles for a loss. Hurns was one of two student-athletes to represent the Braves at 2016 Southwestern Athletic Conference Media Day.
Additionally, Hurns is one of six finalists for the coveted Walter Payton Achievement Award which honors two student-athletes who are high achievers in the classroom and key contributors on the field. The winners will be announced at the welcome banquet on Sept. 3 at the Dayton International Speedway, a day before Alcorn’s SWAC/MEAC Challenge game against Bethune-Cookman to open the season.
“I’m very excited for the upcoming season. We have a great team coming back and it was an easy transition with the coaching change. We have a great head coach who has been here for a long time,” Hurns said. “Personally, I plan on just continuing what I’ve been doing the past few years and that’s being a role player and trying to lead the younger guys. I want to lead by example.”
As for the time commitment between football and SGA, Hurns knows it will take a lot of hard work and dedication.
“It will be extremely hard, but I’ve really wanted to do this ever since I was a freshman. My predecessors were people that I looked up to and did a great job. I feel I can be a great spokesperson just like they were, and I want to be the voice of the student body,” Hurns said. “It will be a tough job, but I feel I’m more than capable and I’m ready to take on the task. I have a great cabinet and also a great support system around me to make this a success.”
Hurns is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in biology and is on pace to graduate at the spring 2017 commencement.
“I just want to thank everyone again for electing me as SGA Senior Class President. I know a lot of people were shocked when I first came out and ran because I’m a football player, and people probably questioned it,” Hurns said. “I’m going to put my best-foot forward and do everything I can to make this a successful term.”
Courtesy: Alcorn State Athetlics