Photo by Brenda Lin

The Technique got to opportunity to speak with Andrew Perry and Sara Dada, Tech’s recently-elected Mr. and Ms. GT, about their thoughts on the role and how it relates to their impact on Tech’s campus.

Technique: Can you give a background of yourselves?

Dada: So I’m from Marietta, Georgia. I never really thought about Tech much in high school, but I found myself on campus senior year and fell in love with it. Since coming to campus, I knew I wanted to be really involved in as many things as possible. I didn’t really know what those things would be. It took some time but I eventually found them in the Women’s
Leadership Conference and Omicron Delta Kappa. Those have probably been two of my biggest
involvements on campus. I’m really excited to hopefully graduate in May, and I’d like to work in global health.

Perry: I was born and raised in Peachtree City, Georgia. I was born and raised in a UGA household, I was told to go there, I was going to be the world’s best doctor, bilingual, all that. One campus tour here and I was sold, I knew I wanted to come here immediately. During my FASET summer, I really solidified my love for this campus. I really owe it to Georgia Tech for being able to find out what I’m strong in and passionate about. Extracurricular-wise, I’m a new member educator for my fraternity, as well as a FASET leader twice. This past year, I’ve been serving as the director of the Mental Health Student Coalition. That’s kind of been my baby, I love it.  This is the second year it’s been around and we finally got chartered, which is wonderful. [Sara’s] trying to graduate soon, I’m trying to extend my graduation. I really, really want UGA at home to be my last football game.

Technique: A lot of what people associate with Mr. and Ms. GT comes from the halftime ceremony and nothing else. What other roles do you think they play on campus?

Dada: Well it’s really cool, we actually just got our first request for an appearance at the MLK Day celebration, we would serve as emcees at the event. My big was actually Ms. GT my freshman year, and she just really represented a love for the Institute. I think the role that she played, and the role that we will play, is continuing that spirit and continuing to be that force on campus through [our involvement]. If we can be a positive role model or positive influence on this campus, whether it is just talking to one person or implementing a policy change on campus, that would be a really valuable experience.

Perry: It’s not that different, we just love Georgia Tech. It’s funny, I thought I was going to get recognized as Mr. Georgia Tech and think “I’ve peaked, I’m done,” but now I want to do more. It’s really nice being like “Hey, you’re doing a great job, you can keep going. We don’t really have any new responsibilities outside what we are already doing. It’s just kind of being that role model or inspiration for other students to realize the opportunities they
get by coming to Tech and being able to foster that love for our community.

Technique: How do you think the two of you embody the Tech spirit?

Perry: In recent years I can’t think of any Indian Ms. GT, and I can’t think of any LGBT Mr. GT. So it’s awesome to be able to say “I’m a helluva engineer, I’m a Yellow Jacket,” without either of us being engineers or a majority in this population. It’s awesome being able to be a kind of trailblazer for minority representation.

Dada: We are able to represent different aspects of campus that aren’t always remembered or recognized. I think another big thing for both of us is something we started talking about a year ago, positive change on campus and the things we have done to work towards that: innovation, progress and service. One of the coolest things that’s happened this year since starting with SGA has been seeing how often people use the term “positive culture change.” I don’t know if we just weren’t aware of it before, but I feel like that wasn’t something we talked about a lot before last year. Being able to see our institute’s leadership, our student leadership, talking about positive culture change is really cool. We kind of sparked a thought there, and people are working to fix that.

Perry: Last year when we found out we didn’t win [the SGA election], the first thing we said was “no matter what happens, the stuff we want to do and the stuff on our platform is gonna happen, either through us or somebody else.” It’s awesome that a full year later, we are seeing that happen. I’ve gotten a ton of emails about student health and wellbeing, and that was one of my favorite parts of our platform that’s really kind of come to fruition.