United Common Ground president excited about 2nd year with group


Photo Provided to the Clarion

Deyshia Kinsey, front row, center, joins members of the United Common Ground for a photo at a conference last spring. Kinsey enters her second year as president of the student organization.

Chris Bird, News Editor

Deyshia Kinsey has been hard at work juggling her personal life and responsibilities as the president of United Common Ground (UCG) at Madison College. Kinsey has been working hard through the summer for FedEx Ground.

Kinsey spends most of her work day unloading trailers. She said “1,000 some boxes a day. It’s psycho. They say you’re coming in to work out for six hours. I thought, I’m a dancer, I can take it.”

Even though it’s a tough work, Deyshia seems to be holding up well and even spends her limited free time to plan the future of UCG before the semester starts.

“What we do on campus is to create a diverse platform for everybody. We highlight marginalized groups, and oppressed communities or groups, and throw events for those groups,” said Kinsey. United Common Ground focuses on welcoming all members of the Madison College community. The group does this through events, partnerships with other student groups and creating their own community for students to find a place in.

When asked how the leadership role had changed her, Kinsey responded “I think my maturity level, definitely. I was kind of setback coming from a 4-year where I didn’t do well at all … then coming here and finding that niche where I was supposed to be at all along.” She first became involved in United Common Ground back in 2017. Ro Encizo, United Common Ground advisor, met her through the Intercultural exchange. “I would say it was life-changing – I proved to myself I could do it if I had the correct support team and Ro was that for me,” Kinsey said.

“I started working at the Intercultural Exchange. Ro was my boss and mentor. UCG met when I worked, so he pushed me to attend. Ro kind of pushed me in the leadership role. He knew I could do it.” Kinsey said. She is shaping to have a lot of responsibility in the student group for this upcoming semester. She will be the only returning member in a leadership role and Encizo is moving on from his advisory position this fall. Kinsey said, “He told me I have to rock this year and keep pressing the group forward.”

Kinsey feels prepared for the transition and she has the support of United Common Ground members for help, even without Encizo there to guide them. She expressed “I feel like – he’s kind of been conditioning me already. Leading our meetings, preparing me. I have a very good executive team. When I’m slacking, they keep me on it.” United Common Ground already has plenty of events lined up, including partnerships with Black Student Union for Black History Month and The Gender Sexuality Alliance for National Coming Out Day.

On top of the responsibilities to UCG, Deyshia Kinsey is also a co-founder of Madison College’s dance team, and she is studying hard to make it through the Veterinary Technician program. She is working to become a better leader and said “I want to help taking students from where I was, where I didn’t feel like I was meant to be in school, to pushing them to where I am now where I feel I can overcome anything as long as I am taking the right steps.”

Students can attend United Common Ground meetings every Tuesday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. To learn more, search for UCG on WolfPack Connect.