SGA candidate profile: Harvey Green

Northern Star Staff

The following is the response to a Northern Star questionnaire sent to all SGA candidates. Answers have been lightly edited for clarity and consistency.

Green is running for a senator position for an underserved student communities seat.

Name: Harvey Green (Pronouns: they/he, in that order)

Year in School: Junior

Major: Psychology/Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Hometown: Darien, IL

Why do you want to be in the Student Government Association?

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to help people. So, when I grew up and realized I was queer, I dedicated my life to helping other queer folks find their voice, love themselves, and advocate for themselves. Over time, I’ve learned that ‘helping’ can mean a lot of things. There is, of course, the traditional one-to-one way of helping. In my mind, civic engagement, too, can be helpful. I’ve heard many of my queer friends, particularly my Black and disabled queer friends, express that they do not often feel like there is a place at NIU where every part of their identity can be seen. It is important to me that my loved ones, as well as other folks I don’t know, have spaces where they can be fully seen for who they are. I hope to push NIU in this direction as a senator.

What do you hope to accomplish during your term?

Like I eluded to, I hope to examine NIU’s Constitution and Bylaws, such that I can identify where policy may be altered to better support LGBTQ+ students at NIU, as well as to foster a more intersectional environment for all students. I also hope to work together with my fellow senators to be sure that all decisions we make keep queer students and intersectionality in mind.

Why should students vote for you?

First and foremost, I encourage all students to make their own decisions. If you want to talk to me about my platform, address concerns, or provide suggestions, please email me at hgreen1@niu.edu. My words matter, but they only carry so much weight. The goal I want to achieve is certainly ambitious, and I want to draw on as much feedback as I can to ensure that I am, in fact, accomplishing the goals I want to accomplish. That said, I have extensive experience working with the LGBTQ+ community. Of course, I am queer and trans myself. I have also been involved in several leadership positions for LGBTQ+ organizations, including my position as the Vice President of Prism here at NIU. I have learned so much about intersectionality and how to be a better ally to Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) through my leadership position. For that, I must also thank Trevon Smith and Bettie Mattison-Farris in particular. They have been such a major part of my development as an activist, and I hope that I can make them proud by embodying their spirit. My lived experiences, and understanding the lived experiences of other queer students, make me particularly qualified to handle these matters.

What do you think is NIU’s biggest area of improvement? 

I think NIU truly appreciates its diversity. That said, I think NIU could be doing quite a bit more to support its transgender students. While the Trans Action Task Force several years ago succeeded in de-gendering some bathrooms on campus, there is still quite a bit of work to be done. Residence halls remain an issue for trans students; from my experience, many feel uncomfortable using the bathroom and particularly showering. In my mind, there must be some way to alleviate this issue. Furthermore, many classes, particularly those in science departments, technical or social sciences, continue to posit gender as if it were binary. Some acknowledge this falsehood, but self-admittedly continue to use a binary construction of gender for the sake of simplicity. We can, and must, do better, both for the sake of education and for the wellbeing of trans students.

Why is student government important to you? Why should the student body care about it? 

Simply put, SGA makes decisions to benefit the student body. The opinions and needs of the student body matter. Paying attention to your candidates, as well as what is happening in SGA, will help you evaluate whether or not your voice is being heard. NIU’s campus community is your community, and you should absolutely have a hand in shaping it.

The Northern Star is publishing the candidates’ responses to our questions as they are given to us. The Northern Star is not endorsing SGA candidates.