Community involvement through the eyes of our 2018 homecoming regent

By Elyse Greenwood | 11/26/18 9:45am

Lavar Green-Jackson. Courtesy / GVSU

Crowning a homecoming regent during the halftime of the homecoming football game has become an exciting annual Laker tradition. The 2018 homecoming regent, Lavar Green-Jackson, demonstrates that this honor means much more than just attending weekly classes on campus. 

On Saturday, Oct. 6, Green-Jackson was crowned Grand Valley State University’s 2018 homecoming regent. According to the Office of Student Life, a homecoming regent is either a junior or senior at GVSU, is a member of a student organization participating in homecoming events, is in good academic standing and embodies GVSU values in their everyday life. After the candidates participate in elements such as interviews and endorsement letters during the nomination process, all students, faculty and staff are allowed to vote for their favorite Laker. 

Following GVSU’s mission statement, one of this university’s core values is community. Green-Jackson exemplifies this value as he takes action not only in the GVSU community, but also in surrounding communities. 

“Being homecoming regent to me means being involved not just on campus but also off campus and making an impact in my community,” Green-Jackson said. “I think we all have the responsibility to make a positive impact on our community. As homecoming regent, it’s important to me to be aware of this responsibility and to bring other people into this involvement to also make a positive impact.”

Green-Jackson, currently a senior studying behavioral neuroscience and Spanish, has kept himself busy throughout his four years at GVSU by staying involved. He has been a Resident Assistant for two years, is a peer mentor for TRIO Student Support Services and works as a student assistant in the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship. In addition to this, he is involved in student organizations such as CRU, Black Male Scholars and Spanish Club. 

While Green-Jackson is undoubtedly active on campus, his involvement extends outside of the GVSU community. Over the summer, he was a mentor for the west Michigan program FitKids360, which teaches children about nutrition and exercise to help participants develop healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle. In addition to this program, Green-Jackson also has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and has helped with projects such as building homes. 

“I’ve always been the type of person to do a lot and get involved in many activities,” Green-Jackson said. “But after becoming homecoming regent, I wanted to use my time wisely to invest in different areas that I am passionate about because I don’t have time to do everything I want.”

With the December 2019 graduation date right around the corner, Green-Jackson’s advice for his peers emphasizes the importance of community engagement that he has learned throughout his four years at GVSU. 

“If I could tell my peers one piece of advice, it would be to get involved in their community,” Green-Jackson said. “I think a lot of times we are scared to find out what our passions are and explore our environment. For me, that’s how I grew as a person: through exploring my passions and the environments I was in.” 

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