Leader’s Corner: Elliot Echols and Sunsea Shaw


Homecoming King Elliot Echols, junior sociology major, and Homecoming Queen Sunsea Shaw, senior sociology major, poise with other members of Homecoming Court after being crowned during halftime of the football game Saturday.

By Ryan Chambers

You see them around campus, but who are our student leaders? The Leader’s Corner gives readers a glimpse into the personalities of the men and women behind the suits and ties.

This week the Northern Star sat down with 2010 Homecoming King & Queen, Elliot Echols and Sunsea Shaw to see why they deserved to be NIU Royalty.

Q: It has to feel good to be Homecoming King, so tell us why you chose to run for the position?

A: I chose to run for Homecoming King because I believe that I can really represent the student body. I’ve formed several relationships with organizations and the student body. I’m able to walk to class and say hello to everybody. It’s a normal thing for me. I believe in making the campus better, and just speaking to somebody can be enough. Just saying “Hello” or “What’s up” can really make a person’s day, and I pride myself in that.

Q: What else are you involved in around campus?

A: I am director of Athletics and Recreation for [the Student Association]. I work under Jeff Compher and Sandi Carlisle, who are the athletic director for the entire university and the director of the Recreational Center. I am also involved in the Black Student Union, also a part of Black Male Initiative (BMI). Obviously a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Incorporated, Epsilon Phi Chapter [of] which I am the Vice President. SA keeps me busy, so that is about it.

Q: With all the newfound publicity that accompanies being “The King,” how do you plan to use that to benefit the campus?

A: I’m really big on making sure that athletes and students are together. You know, here at NIU we have athletes, then we have normal students, and that’s a big stereotype that many people have. And with me being able to bridge that gap, people understand that I am serious. I’m serious about making sure students here are wanted and that we are one. I believe that once the students get the backing of the players and vice versa, not only will they perform better, but it think it provide a better atmosphere for the campus.

Q: Lastly, I know you are a huge NIU football fan, so how do you feel about the season thus far?

A: They started off the season playing some great opponents. They worked very hard this year, and I’ve maintained a close relationship with Coach [Jerry] Kill. [We’ve had] constant e-mails and personal conversations talking about their growth as a football team, and I think they are doing an excellent job. This year they are really learning how to finish. We’ve been a great starting football team, and now let’s learn to finish these games. I think this year is definitely our year to go to the Humanitarian Bowl.

Sunsea Shaw interview:

Q: Homecoming Queen is one of the biggest titles a college student can hold, how does it feel to hold that title?

A: It feels really good to know that all of my peers voted for me. Of course, I campaigned really hard. I really didn’t think that many people would vote for me, but at the same time, winning felt really good.

Q: To be voted Queen, you really do have to be involved in your community. What else are you involved in on campus?

A: I am apart of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated, as well as the vice president of the NAACP on campus. I’m also apart of the NIU American Correctional Association, and last but not least, I am a member of the NIU women’s cross country and track & field teams.

Q: How have things been going for you and the track team?

A: It’s going pretty good. I have MAC championships next week, and I think I should do well. I mean, I’m Sunsea Shaw!

Q: Well, staying with the track & field theme, what are your team’s expectations for this upcoming season?

A: We had some really good recruits come in, so I have a really good feeling about this season. We actually have two home meets this spring so I better see everybody out there. We’re definitely going to make some noise in the MAC this year.

Q: So, how do you manage Greek life and sports with all of your other commitments?

A: Aw, man, its all about what you have time for. Better yet to say, you make time for what you want to make time for. When I was in the process of joining the organization [Zeta Phi Beta Sorority], it was hard balancing my time, but now it just seems routine for me.

Q: Any Last shouts outs?

A: I want to give a shout out to my sorors from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated, my boyfriend Martell, Ryan Chambers for choosing me for his show, and lastly the NIU track & field team.