Harvard elects first Black male student body leader
Free Press wire reports | 12/3/2020, 6 p.m.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A 20-year-old from Mississippi has be- come the first Black man elected student body president at Harvard.
Noah Harris of Hattiesburg was elected president of Harvard’s Undergraduate Council on Nov. 12. He is a junior who is majoring in government and currently serves as treasurer of the Undergraduate Council and co-chairs its Black Caucus.
Two other Black students have previously headed Harvard’s Undergraduate Council, but Mr. Harris is the first Black man to be elected by the student body.
In 1999, Fentrice Driskell was the first Black woman elected president of the council. She now holds a seat in the Florida House of Representatives.
Mr. Harris told the Hattiesburg American newspaper that he does not take the honor lightly.
“Especially with everything that went on this summer with the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, all the protests that went on in this moment of racial reckoning in this country,” he said. “This is a major statement by the Harvard student body to entrust a Black man with such an unprecedented moment in its history.”
Mr. Harris ran with running mate Jenny Y. Gan, an Asian-American junior from Cleveland, who will be vice president of the Undergraduate Council when the two are sworn in Sunday, Dec. 6.
The two ran on a platform focused on diversity, quality of student life, the virtual learning experience, mental health needs and responsible university policies on sexual assaults.