Amaya Jernigan Becomes West Virginia University’s First Black Woman Student Government President

By Duchess Magazine

Amaya Jernigan Becomes West Virginia University’s First Black Woman Student Government President

For Amaya Jernigan, rewriting history is a longtime dream come true!

It’s women’s history month and glass ceilings at our every turn are being shattered. Joining the list of trailblazing queens, Amaya Jernigan who has always wanted to become West Virginia University’s first Black student body president, now proudly takes her seat.

The Maryland native’s historical win went down the history books March 10, 2021. Amaya Jernigan, majoring in Biology was certified by the Student Government Association (SGA) Judicial Court, for the academic year.

Jernigan didn’t just stumble into leadership and the student body, according to WVU Today, she has served as the president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Eta Omicron Chapter and has also served as a senator-at-large, since joining WVU’s Student Government Association. Jernigan has always pushed for representation and a more diverse platform on campus, in terms of counseling options, mentoring programs for underrepresented students, including pushing for the inclusion of gender-neutral bathrooms.

Jernigan vowed to also expand access to mental health care on campus, develop a safer campus with additional alternative transportation options, and explore safe alternatives to classrooms and gathering spaces.

“We all have to be the change that we seek, and we are taking action today,” Jernigan said in a YouTube campaign video while walking alongside her previous running mate.

While speaking with WBOY 12 News, Jernigan stated she wanted to change the culture of WVU’s SGA and strives to make the group more inviting and diverse.

“I’ve been a part of SGA for about two years now, two years, and some change, and I still feel like I’m on the outside. Although I go to all the meetings, I talk to everyone there; it doesn’t feel like I belong there,” she added, mentioning that she wants everyone to know her door is open despite sex or race, and she’s ready to listen.

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