Life in a college town: Laquan Magruder, student leader

There are a number of student-run organizations at Mansfield University. All of these organizations are run by a group of leaders – Laquan Magruder happens to lead three.

Magruder, a junior at Mansfield University, is the president of Men for Progress, the president of Men of Distinguished Excellence (M.O.D.E.) and vice president of the Black Student Union (BSU).

“It’s a balancing act every day,” Magruder said, “but I’m extremely focused.”

Magruder was born in Philadelphia, and attended Abington High School. After high school, he went to Mansfield University as a criminal justice major where he quickly got involved in many clubs and organizations like the ones earlier mentioned, as well as mentoring, being a Mountie guide and joining Army National Guard. “I love being involved and in charge or my own destiny,” Magruder said.

Men for Progress was created as a “place for students to come and assist each other in growth and all aspects of life,” Magruder said.

Magruder was elected president as a freshman, after former President Troy Godinet, and has held the position ever since.

His duties include conducting meetings, handling all administrative business and maintaining relationships between them and other organizations.

This organization is not just for men. Mansfield University junior, Tiara Pendleton recently has joined and is thinking about running for a place on the board.

“I think I want to be treasurer,” Pendleton said. Other current board members include Jallah Yalleh, secretary; Marquise Isaac-Rivers, treasurer; and Josh Moore, public relations director. There is no current vice president.

Every Monday at 7 pm, members get together to discuss upcoming event such as the all-white party and 3 on 3 basketball tournament. Past events hosted by Men for Progress include the Operation Ambition conference and Advice and a Slice in which students come together to talk about issues in the young black male community.

They also set short-term and long-term goals for the organization as a whole as well as for themselves personally.

“I like that we are able to recognize our goals in order to stay focused,” member Dontae Williams said.

Men of Distinguished Excellence is much like Men for Progress. In fact, the two organizations will merge starting this fall semester.

“It just makes more sense to unite two organizations with many of the same members, same goals and same objectives,” Magruder said.

In this organization, board members include Holden Moyer, vice president; Barnave Thanis, secretary; and Dontae Williams, treasurer.

The Black Student Union is the third main organization that Magruder is deeply involved in. He currently is the vice president, but will obtain the president position after current President Destinee Harper graduates if elected. “I nominate Laquan as President,” Harper said in a BSU meeting.

Other members of the board include Marquise Isaac-Rivers, treasurer; Opeyemi Odusola, parliamentarian; Gabrielle Scott, secretary; and Josh Moore, public relations director.

BSU is responsible for events on campus like black history month activities, the Kwanzaa banquet and skating parties.

On any given day, Magruder is working on a project for one of his three organizations. “It’s a lot of work, but I know it will pay off in the long run.” “I’m driven by anyone who ever doubted me. I think about all the people who didn’t believe in me every day.”