Drake University welcomed its first Black woman Student Body President for this 2021-2022 school year.
“I felt a wide range of emotions immediately. I was excited, very proud of myself and grateful to those that voted for me,” Student Body President Morgan Coleman said.
Coleman said her excitement turned into pressure when she realized what her win meant.
“In addition to that, things were pretty bittersweet as I recognized the weight of being the first Black woman elected to this position at Drake. With being the first at anything, especially as a Black woman, you feel both the privilege of the moment and the pressure to not be the last,” Coleman said.
Coleman’s upbringing led her to running for Student Body President.
“During my childhood, my family always stressed the importance of education, community service and leadership. I was encouraged to combine these things through co-curricular opportunities throughout my high school career. Because of my membership in various organizations and participation on a few teams, it was natural for that to carry over into my time at Drake,” Coleman said.
Coleman credited part of her win to her campaign team which consisted of Parfait Ouedraogo as Campaign Outreach member, Abbie Whittemore as Social Media and Marketing Consultant, Callie Kulda as Public Relations Consultant and First-Year Strategist, Will Tsai as Athletics Liaison, and Kendra Curry as Campaign Manager.
“I was her campaign manager, and this was because she felt I could best help with social media…and the other connections I have on campus. But, as well, the trust Morgan holds with me is what helped her make the choice to have me as campaign manager,” Curry said.
Curry said she accepted the role that Coleman offered her because of how Coleman affected her.
“I chose to accept the position as her campaign manager because since the moment I stepped foot on Drake’s campus Morgan made me feel comfortable and heard…Rather than speaking as one voice for campus, she speaks to represent [all] the voices on campus,” Curry said.
Colema’s drive to amplify the voices of all comes from her own personal experiences.
“I understand the importance of making space for those that may not have the platform to share their voice. As someone who has been in countless settings where I was overlooked and underestimated, or just unheard, I try to be compassionate in my leadership by highlighting the voices of those in that same position,” Coleman said.
Coleman said she wants the students of Drake to know that she is “here to represent them” and to “feel like they have a resource in” her. Also, she wants students to recognize that she is not perfect.
“I will make mistakes in this role just like anyone else would, but I am always willing to learn. I am here to work alongside students, and I intend to do just that,” Coleman said.
After “more than a year of challenges and a future that may not be perfect,” Coleman said, she keeps a positive outlook about her role and this school year.
“I am looking forward to facing it with you all,” Coleman said.