Former SGA president reflects on past term, shows excitement for new leadership


Former SGA president J.D. Baker gives a speech before the inauguration of the new SGA president, Yaseen Shurbaji.

Caitlyn Epes

J.D. Baker did not want to run for Student Government Association president. He would say “heck no” to anyone who asked. The more he thought about it, the more he realized that the University of Oklahoma needed a leader that was going to truly represent the student body, and that leader was himself.

After his election in November 2016, Baker’s term produced initiatives like OU Loves Norman and cultivated a sense of community between students and the city. One of Baker’s proudest accomplishments is receiving a $138,000 increase in the SGA budget. That money helped SGA fund more student organizations and bridge the gap between students and their leadership.

“I truly believe that every student desires a place here at the university to call home,” Baker said. “I believe that helping those organizations through that is so important.”

While Baker is proud of his presidential accomplishments, he wishes he could have done more.

“As long as we continue to build on each other, every set of student leaders every year, continue to build on each other, I think we can get to where we really want to be and the ideal university we want to have,” Baker said.

Part of being SGA president is leaving a legacy, and Baker has done that for current SGA president Yaseen Shurbaji.

“We definitely have big shoes to fill,” Shurbaji said. “I feel very honored.”

While Shurbaji is getting ready to build a new SGA cabinet, Baker is grateful for the members of the student body that supported him throughout his presidential journey.

“I just thank the students for electing me and letting me serve,” Baker said. “It was definitely a humbling experience and a privilege, and I don’t take it lightly at all.”