James B. Hunt, Jr. recalls his quick ascent into the student body president position and the importance of surrounding himself with an effective team of student leaders. Interview on May 29, 2012. (2:17)


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So I served in the senate for two years and at the end of my sophomore year I was elected student government vice president 00:00:00.000 - 00:00:08.688
and that fall when we came back to college the student body president dropped out of college, a fine person, 00:00:08.688 - 00:00:15.295
and I was elevated to president and I served that year as president of the student body. 00:00:15.295 - 00:00:21.257
Learned some lessons, by the way, one of which was you need to have your own team in place, 00:00:21.257 - 00:00:31.450
because some of the people that had been appointed by my-or some had been elected-but they were on the sort of a team of leadership 00:00:31.450 - 00:00:41.490
of the person who'd been elected president, didn't respond to me when I came in. 00:00:41.490 - 00:00:46.697
They kind of tried to ignore me and I couldn't get their help. So I learned right then, you got to have your own team in place. 00:00:46.697 - 00:00:58.004
There's a book, Team of Rivals, about how Lincoln put in place in his cabinet all the people that ran against him, 00:00:58.004 - 00:01:09.526
and they didn't work with him very much, and some people say, well, that tried, it was a trial thing, you know. Baloney. 00:01:09.526 - 00:01:17.726
You want to have your own team in place to help you carry out what you're elected to do. You got to have help. 00:01:17.726 - 00:01:23.430
So, after serving that first year as student body president under those circumstances, at the end of my junior year I ran again for president of student government 00:01:23.430 - 00:01:35.861
and was elected, so that would be my second year. I had my team in place and I think we made a lot of progress. 00:01:35.861 - 00:01:42.583
I worked closely with the chancellor and with the deans but I represented the students and regularly I'd be on a different side from the president of the college union or the student newspaper, or whatever it was, 00:01:42.583 - 00:01:56.711
and you get some real experience in how to lead, how to focus on the issues, how to get people to work with you and come to your side and get things done. 00:01:56.711 - 00:02:08.665
That was very good experience for what I did later in life. 00:02:08.665 - 00:02:16.041

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