Marvin “Tubby” Jacobs was working in a textile mill in Raeford, N.C., when he decided to go to college.
“One of the guys asked me if it was for money or love,” he said. “I said it was for love. I love working with kids.”
UNC Pembroke’s Student Government Association (SGA) president for 2006-07 is majoring in exercise and sports science with a minor in mathematics. He plans to teach and coach football.
“I was a young kid making pretty good money,” Jacobs said. “I’d be doing real good if I stayed.”
A Hoke County native, Jacobs started his academic career in community college and will finish in 2007 at UNCP. There are two constants throughout his school days - involvement in student leadership and community service.
“I like to be involved, and I like to be recognized and make change” he said. “That’s why I decided to come to UNCP – small classes and a lot of one-on-one involvement with professors and others.”
Jacobs has a high profile on campus today, and his goal is to raise the profile of student government to enrich campus life.
“We want to build our organization to bring SGA to students, faculty, staff and the community,” he said.
It will be a team effort, and the 2006-07 SGA will build on the success of the past.
“We are the voice of the students, but I am not the whole student body,” Jacobs said. “We’ve got student senators, committees and ACE.”
ACE (Association of Campus Entertainment) is the new name for CAB, the former Campus Activities Board which develops student events. Jacobs is banking on better name recognition.
“We wanted a name that would grab their attention,” he said. “We are not the Campus Appeals Board. We voted on the new name and logo. Everybody likes it.”
Under Jacobs’ leadership, SGA will emphasize communication with some underdeveloped and underutilized groups.
“Freshman involvement with SGA and ACE is important,” he said. “I would like to be part of the Freshman Seminar program. Freshmen are required to attend certain meetings on campus, and I would like them to visit an SGA meeting.”
“I would like to get more Native American student involvement,” Jacobs said. “November is Native American Heritage Month, and we would like to develop programs around it. Maybe a speaker.”
Football at UNCP in 2007 presents a challenge and an opportunity for student leadership, he said.
“This is a football area, and football will build school spirit and help retention,” Jacobs said. “When football comes, we will be ready. We will begin building traditions for football.”
Football will create excitement during the weekends, and Jacobs said that dovetails nicely with his goals to improve student life.
“More and more students are here on the weekends,” Jacobs said. “We want to build our student organizations to be here for them.”
Jacobs said he would build on what prior SGA administrations have accomplished.
“I want to build on what Marko (Gospojevich) did last year at SGA,” he said. “I will also try to draw a path for the next SGA president.”
Jacobs would fill out the community service mission of SGA also. He’s got a good head start.
“I’ve got 6-700 hours of community service with LSOP (Leadership and Service Opportunities Program),” he said. “With my fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, I’ve traveled all over to raise money for scholarships.”
“We’ve got to look outside of our campus and ourselves,” Jacobs said. “We’re looking at youth programs, maybe a yearlong, on-going project.”
LSOP Director Melanie Clark said Jacobs has done an “astronomical” amount of community service, and he brings some unique talents to the table.
“He puts himself out there,” Clark said. “Marvin is resourceful and he find the people he needs to get things done.”
Upbeat leadership and inclusiveness are Jacobs’ strengths as a leader, Clark said.
There is a lot to do to lift school spirit, but Jacobs is uniquely qualified to make it happen. He believes he is at the right place at the right time.
“We are a growing University, and our spirit will grow with it,” he said.