Student Government President Adrian Perkins resigned on February 1, 2018. His resignation letter is below. Effective today, Amanda Lee is the Student Government President and Amanda Chan is the Student Government Vice President.
I am resigning as Student Government President to prepare to run for local office in my hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana. I never expected to write those words, and it is disappointing to acknowledge that I’ll fall three months shy of my obligation to the students that voted for me. Luckily, the Student Government is in great hands; I am confident the incoming President Amanda Lee will build on the progress we’ve made since last April. The future in Shreveport is not so promising, which has spurred me to answer to another commitment that I made: to do all that I can for the community that raised me.
Winning the election last April was one of the high points of my life, and I have not taken the job lightly. My passion for Student Government extends back beyond my time as a 1L Section 2 Representative to my first election in high school. This year was the culmination of all those years of service to my peers, and I threw my all into it. Student Government has been incredibly successful (no bias here at all), and Amanda Lee has been a critical part of every accomplishment — from the Talk Series to the Mental Health Survey. Amanda will continue to put students first, and it is that bright outlook that placed my job here second to my obligation at home.
Shreveport is by most metrics struggling, and it is going to take new, innovative leadership to allow it to meet its full potential. It is one of the slowest growing economies in the country, one of the hardest places to find a job, and increasingly suffering from violent crime to name but a few of the city’s recent accolades. I chose to come to HLS over continuing my service in the military because I knew this route would allow me to move back and contribute to my community more quickly. It’s important to me that I make good on that commitment. The deprivation of human and financial capital is the cause for many of Shreveport’s problems—a national trend not unique to Shreveport. Two quick illustrative stats of that trend, one general and one closer to home: 78 percent of venture capital funding in the U.S. goes to three coastal states, and only 5.1 percent of 2016 HLS graduates chose to practice in the South. This inequality must be addressed and was a leading determinant of last year’s election results.
My law school personal statement concludes with a commitment “to reinvest time and energy into the road I have traveled,” so that it will not be so rough for those coming behind me. Hopefully, you don’t take my resignation as a slight, but more so as encouragement to follow your own passions. I know that for many like me, the last year has been a wake up call. Harvard provides its students with enormous opportunities to serve both while we are here and once we leave. Coming out of a place like Harvard, with our nation’s communities needing all the help they can get, HLS students can’t sit on the sidelines!