July 29, 2014

Student body president Desmond Miller takes charge at Eastern

Public administration major has full agenda as he advocates for students; plans a career in politics

by Princess Gabbara, Published September 25, 2013

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Desmond Miller is a busy guy. As Student Government President at Eastern Michigan University, his schedule is filled with back-to-back meetings, managing the entire student government staff and making difficult decisions.

And that’s not all. In between, Miller can also be seen running from class to class and studying for exams in the wee hours of the morning just like the rest of us.

When Miller and I met in his Student Center office, I was both impressed and taken aback by how he seemed to handle it all with ease. I wanted to know: What’s his secret to successfully juggling so many different tasks?

“It just means that I don’t—well, I have a social life, but I don’t have a big social life,” says Miller, laughing. “I just find time in the office [to catch up on homework when] students [or staff] doesn’t need me. It’s a big balancing act.”

Miller, 20, is majoring in public administration, with a minor in health administration. He’s planning a career in politics, perhaps in his hometown of Flint as mayor or city councilman, or in the White House as president of the United States.

That ambition stems from Miller’s growing up in a household where dreams were always encouraged, along with the importance of having a tremendous work ethic.

“My dad taught me to always look at the humor in life [and] to always go through things with a smile,” says Miller. “My mom always taught me to be very responsible—not that my dad’s not responsible [laughs]. But she really made sure I was responsible not only [in school] but financially as well, so I get that from her.”

When Miller’s not busy carrying out his presidential duties, he relishes long runs, catching up on old episodes of “The West Wing” and going to the movies to completely disconnect from everything, including his phone.   

“I just saw ‘Elysium,’ ” says Miller. “It was a futuristic movie; I enjoyed it.”

Despite being a very friendly and outgoing president, Miller says he’s much more of an introvert than people would expect.

“I like to talk to people—don’t get me wrong, but there are times when I really could just go [a couple hours in silence],” says Miller.

At some point during our interview, Miller pulled out a list of priorities and issues he plans on tackling as president—some of which include eliminating unfair parking regulations and offering long-term registration as much as five years down the road. But he seemed to be the most adamant about being accessible to students.

“I know there are a lot of times when students see me dressed up and they may think that I’m all professional, which I am, but there are times when I like to joke around [and] wear jeans—some people probably don’t think that,” says Miller, while donning a three-piece suit minus the jacket. “I want students to feel comfortable talking to me about anything.”

Being president is no easy task, but Miller takes it all in stride, and prides himself on being able to serve his fellow students.

“The best part of the job is the feeling I get from advocating on behalf of students,” says Miller. “I love my job and what I do for [them].”

Learn more about EMU Student Government at www.emich.edu/studentgov/.

Geoff Larcom

glarcom@emich.edu

734.487.4400

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