Norris Tolson discusses how he balanced his responsibilities as student body president and his academic course load. Interview on May 12, 2011. (1:47)


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Well it's just like being an athlete. 00:00:00.000 - 00:00:02.754
Student athletes have to balance going to class with playing sports. 00:00:02.754 - 00:00:07.986
Well student leaders have to balance going to class and getting their education, 00:00:07.986 - 00:00:12.876
which is their primary mission of being at an institution like NC State, 00:00:12.876 - 00:00:16.834
with their student leadership responsibilities, 00:00:16.834 - 00:00:21.604
and so I was not permitted to cut classes, and in my day when I was at NC State 00:00:21.604 - 00:00:26.110
you were only allowed a certain number of class cuts regardless of what the reason was, unless it was a death in the family. 00:00:26.110 - 00:00:32.238
So I had to attend class and I had to study and I had to do all those things so I could graduate when I was supposed to graduate. 00:00:32.238 - 00:00:40.336
I was also in ROTC so I was a student officer at the time as well. 00:00:40.336 - 00:00:46.275
All of those things were healthy for me in that it forced me to discipline my time, 00:00:46.275 - 00:00:53.086
and that's been a really good learning experience from my NC State experience because even today I'm a very disciplined person. 00:00:53.086 - 00:01:00.833
I know things that have to be done and I work hard to make sure that I maintain some kind of a schedule and that kind of stuff. 00:01:00.833 - 00:01:08.243
So I can't recall it ever being a burden, although I'm sure there were times when there were conflicts, 00:01:08.243 - 00:01:15.747
I had some kind of student responsibility and I also had a class. 00:01:15.747 - 00:01:19.552
Well class came first, and by the way that's what Dr. Caldwell used to say. 00:01:19.552 - 00:01:25.749
Chancellor Caldwell would say: You remember, classes come first. 00:01:25.749 - 00:01:30.350
If I ask you to do something and you've got class or you've got an exam or you've got to study that comes first. 00:01:30.350 - 00:01:36.449
So I don't recall it being a burden. 00:01:36.449 - 00:01:39.904

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