A personal look at Jelani McGadney

Originally published on April 25, 2012 by The Eastern Echo

Being in the public eye often makes people curious about your personal life. When you’re in the public eye and also a part of the community like former student body President Jelani McGadney, that curiosity can skew into the odd.

To wrap up this series on the McGadney presidency, we’re going to take a look into that personal life and hopefully get a better understanding of the former president and once-again civilian.

One thing many students were waiting on was to see if there would be an Eastern Michigan University Camelot. While it never happened, some are still curious.

“Sorry to disappoint my friends,” McGadney said. “Being President is like being the head of a monastic order, you have to give up something.”

Although he seems content in that decision, he does admit not having a First Lady was frustrating.

“I would say that it took its own toll,” he said. “On the one end, I wanted to vent and to talk about things to people besides my partner, Jeff, even though he and I talk back and forth. At the end of the day you want to leave the office and go talk to somebody else that’s 100 percent removed and that cares about you.”

“I knew – in order to do the best job that I had promised that I was going to do – that by proxy that part of my life would be put on hold.”

Although much of his life is public, many people haven’t had the chance to get to know him on a personal level. Some believe this to be a mysterious side of the disarmingly handsome Scot, but he argues otherwise.

“I am boring,” he said with a laugh. “Once I get behind closed doors, I’m so exhausted from being in public that I just want to lay in bed and watch YouTube videos.”

It has been said you can tell a lot about a person by asking how they like their toast. For McGadney, the recipe is simple.

“I like toast with butter and jam,” he said. “I do lean toward grape, but I’m not picky about my jams. I do like marmalade, I will give you that.”

Looking forward to his impending graduation and post-collegiate life, the immediate future is up in the air. But like many other graduates, his desire is simple: to find employment.

“Next is, I will graduate, and then I will look for work,” he said. “At this point, I’m looking for any kind of political work where I am overworked, underpaid, but will still be able to survive by paying my rent.”

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