Attawia sworn in as Student Governor

By Destiny Smith

May 5, 2014

On April 24, Missouri Western swore in its new student governor -- Lionel Attawia. Attawia is a sophomore at Western, and has been a student senator for a semester and half now. Attawia is not only a part of SGA, but he is also involved with Phi Delta Theta, Residence Hall Association, Student Ambassadors, and Psi Chi. While such a high level of involvement may seem overwhelming for some students new to college, Attawia has managed to stay involved while maintaining the necessary GPA to become student governor. Attawia said he also knew that SGA was a good organization to commit his time and efforts to. “I knew since I first came to Missouri Western, as a freshman, that I wanted to be involved. The one sentiment that was beat into my head about college was that, ‘College is what you put into it.’ I wanted my college experience to be extraordinary, and I wanted to be involved in a way where I could make a difference,” Attawia said. “SGA gave me that opportunity. I'm very interested in politics and parliamentary procedure, so joining SGA was an easy choice.” Not only was SGA a good choice for Attawia, but he too hopes to be good choice for SGA. “I bring unflinching, strong leadership to SGA. People have a tendency to look to me for solutions, and I believe that there is always a solution to every problem,” Attawia said. “I bring experience in being in leadership positions, and therefore the ability to think of fresh and innovative ideas.” Attawia attributes his development as a student leader to his involvement in SGA, and he hopes to continue his professional development as a student liaison to Western’s Board of Governors. “Quite frankly, SGA has helped me become a more responsible person. As a senator, there is an expectation to be involved, to speak with students about issues they find in their college experience and look for ways to solve those problems. I have learned to be more responsible, organized, and loyal to the commitments I make.” Attawia is happy with the choice he has made to be a part of SGA, and he considers it a main reason he’s now qualified to take over the student governor position from Brian Shewell, who is now ending his two-year term. “I live on the premise that one should hold no regrets, as we mature and experience growth from the mistakes we make. SGA, however, was not one of those mistakes,” Attawia said. “I believe, as a matter of fact, that it was an integral part of me becoming student governor. So, yes, I am happy with the choice I made.” Attawia isn’t the only person happy with the choices he has made as a student leader. Attawia’s appointment required approval from the office of Jay Nixon, Missouri’s Governor. Shana Meyer, vice president of student affairs, looks forward to working with Attawia during his term. “Lionel Attawia is a great choice for the new student governor,” Meyer said. “He put in the work to get where he is, and I think he deserves it.” Meyer has worked with Attawia on student senate, and has been impressed with his work in student government so far. “I believe Lionel is here and in it for all the right reason, I cannot wait to see how he does,” Meyer said. Attawia will both participate in Board of Governor meetings at Western and sit in on student government meetings as an ex officio, non-voting member of the SGA executive board.