After 159 Years, MIT Elects Its First-Ever Black Woman Student Body President: Danielle Geathers

Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) elected a black female student body president— for the first time in the school’s 159 year history.

Danielle Geathers, with support from her running mate Yu Jing Chen, will act as president of the Undergraduate Association at an institution where 6% of graduates are black and 47% are women.

CNN reports, Geathers is a rising junior majoring in mechanical engineering. Last year, she served as diversity officer for the Undergraduate Association.

“In terms of coming from that diversity space and being focused on promoting equity across MIT, it would kind of be important to have someone in the President’s role who’s focused on that,” she said.

Geathers told CNN she will use her platform to ensure the school is as inclusive as possible.

“Although some people think it is just a figurehead role, figureheads can matter in terms of people seeing themselves in terms of representation,” she said. “Seeing yourself at a college is kind of an important part of the admissions process.”

Students left MIT in March due to the pandemic, and Geathers returned to her home in Miami, Florida. She and vice president, Chen, campaigned remotely and students voted online.

Check out Geathers’ and Chen’s campaign quarantine check-ins on their Instagram.

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Hey!! Yu Jing here:) hope everybody’s staying safe and healthy! In the heat of UA election season, we decided it’d be fun to do a little quarantine check-in: I’m back home in Chicago (best city!) and currently the campaign has taken over my life but it’s actually been so much fun getting to meet and talk to so many of you (shout-out to everybody that came to our campaign marathon yesterday!) Though being back has been a crazy journey to adjust to, some of my favorite parts of being back include my grandma’s home cooked meals and the chance to reconnect with activities that I never use to have the time to do like knitting (for those two weeks of break at least lol). ps if anybody could tell me why it’s snowing in April, that’d b greatly appreciated😭 (also don’t forget to vote! Seniors, you count too!)

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Discussion of how the school will resume classes in the fall is still underway.

Whatever happens, we’re looking forward to big things from student body president Danielle Geathers. Congratulations on making history!

Susan LaMarca

Written by Susan LaMarca