MIT Elected Its First-Ever Black Female Student Body President
Congrats to this accomplished woman!
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has just elected its first Black student body president in the school’s 159 years of history. Danielle Geathers, a rising college junior, is making history with her election — and she happens to be an expert on that history, too.
Geathers, who’s majoring in mechanical engineering with a concentration in product design, has also done extensive research into the history of Black women at MIT, according to CNBC.
“I actually did an independent study in the fall semester and I wrote 30 pages about the history of Black female recruitment at MIT,” Geathers told the outlet.
Out of MIT’s 4,530 undergraduates, only 272 identify as Black or African-American — just 6% of the total undergraduate population. Geathers hopes her role as student body president will help change that. Ideally, her goal is that “MIT is a more inclusive place and that Black student matriculation goes up next year.”
Geathers ran on a platform of “Unity, Authenticity and Equity,” with her classmate Yu Jing Chen as running mate. The entire campaign took place virtually, with tons of Zoom calls and social media campaigns, like the flyer below. In the end, the pair won by 28 votes.
A graduate of Miami Country Day School in Miami, Florida, Geathers is more than prepared for her new leadership role, with plenty of student government and committee experience under her belt.
But Geathers will take leadership at an unprecedented time in history. MIT students may not even be on campus in the fall, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Also, the school is now reckoning with the Black Lives Matter uprising, with many students attending protests.
“I think part of this movement is doing what you can in your own space,” Geathers said. While it can be “overwhelming” to think of systemic racism as a national issue, she says she asks herself: “What can I, as a student government president, do?”
These days, Geathers has no choice but to hit the ground running. Congratulations to this bright young woman!
This story originally appeared on Simplemost.