NSU's SGA president lobbies for Greek issues in Washington

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NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s incoming Student Government Association President Otha “Tre” Nelson III of Baton Rouge spent several days in Washington, D.C., where he lobbied on Capitol Hill for the Fraternal Government Relations Coalition.  Nelson is one of two student representatives on the National Board of Directors for a group representing the interest of Fraternity and Sorority Life.    


“The mission of FGRC is to give fraternity and sorority life a proper representation in Congress and assure that members of these organizations have congressional members protecting their rights as organizations,” Nelson explained. “The biggest issue taken on by FGRC is to push for the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (CHIA) to get passed in Congress. This bill makes all donations to not-for-profits like fraternities and sororities 100% tax deductible in the same way that donations to universities are. In addition to this, FGRC also works to preserve Charitable Giving and Single Sex Status of Greek Organizations.”


Nelson is a junior liberal arts major with a concentration in politics, philosophy and law in the Louisiana Scholars’ College.  In addition to serving as next year’s SGA president, he has been active during his college career as a freshman orientation leader and a member of the President’s Leadership Program.  He was also a counselor for the Louisiana Boys State program for two years.


            Last year, Nelson was one of 50 fraternity and sorority members from around the country selected to lobby on behalf of FGRC on Capitol Hill.


            “At the end of my term, I was selected as one of two students to sit on the Board of Directors for a group representing the interest of fraternity and sorority life who helped facilitate the DC trip and was given the opportunity to return to the Hill again this past semester.” 


Out of more than 800 who applied, Nelson was one of only 100 that were chosen. 


“This past visit, I had the honor of sitting down and meeting with Louisiana Representative Mike Johnson about the issues facing fraternity and sorority members from around the country,” Nelson said.  “After a successful half hour meeting, my team was able to get the congressman to co-sponsor onto the CHIA Bill. Seeing the genuine interest on the congressman’s face and getting him to co-sponsor by the end of the meeting was one of the most rewarding memories from the trip.”


Nelson said many issues that affect Greek organizations as well as the general student population are not widely known to the general public.


“As the president of the Student Government Association, I am going to work to assure that students know that their concerns are my top priority. No student’s voice should go unheard and the SGA is in place to make that a reality,” Nelson said.


This summer, Nelson is interning for the Theodore Jones Law Firm in Baton Rouge.  Jones, a member of NSU’s alumni hall of distinction, the Long Purple Line, is a well-known lobbyist who has provided counsel to governors, U.S. representatives, U.S. senators and presidential candidates.



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