Norris Tolson discusses how he balanced his responsibilities as student body president and his academic course load.
Interview on 2011-05-12
00:00:00.000 Well it's just like being an athlete.
00:00:02.754 Student athletes have to balance going to class with playing sports.
00:00:07.986 Well student leaders have to balance going to class and getting their education,
00:00:12.876 which is their primary mission of being at an institution like NC State,
00:00:16.834 with their student leadership responsibilities,
00:00:21.604 and so I was not permitted to cut classes, and in my day when I was at NC State
00:00:26.110 you were only allowed a certain number of class cuts regardless of what the reason was, unless it was a death in the family.
00:00:32.238 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.
00:00:40.336 I was also in ROTC so I was a student officer at the time as well.
00:00:46.275 All of those things were healthy for me in that it forced me to discipline my time,
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.
00:01:00.833 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.
00:01:08.243 So I can't recall it ever being a burden, although I'm sure there were times when there were conflicts,
00:01:15.747 I had some kind of student responsibility and I also had a class.
00:01:19.552 Well class came first, and by the way that's what Dr. Caldwell used to say.
00:01:25.749 Chancellor Caldwell would say: You remember, classes come first.
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.
00:01:36.449 So I don't recall it being a burden.