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Biology student is first Black woman elected WVU student government president

The campaign for West Virginia University Student Government Association leadership ended Wednesday evening (March 10) as the SGA Judicial Court certified Amaya Jernigan and Hunter Moore as president and vice president, respectively, for the 2021-22 academic year.

Amaya Jernigan and Hunter Moore

Jernigan, a junior biology major from Waldorf, Maryland, is the first Black woman elected to the post. She is a member of RISE WVU and M-Power and has served as the president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Eta Omicron Chapter. Jernigan also serves as a senator-at-large, and since joining SGA, she has worked to create more diverse counseling options on campus, mentoring programs for underrepresented students and gender-neutral bathrooms.

"I would like to thank every Mountaineer who has made it possible for me to hold this position. I am beyond grateful and will be forever thankful that you all were brave enough to pave the way for me,” Jernigan said. “Hunter and I, as well as everyone else elected today, have been asked to bring change to campus. We won't let you down. We have to be the change we seek, and the ‘ACTION’ starts today.”

Moore, a member of the Honors College, is a junior mechanical and aerospace engineering major from Clarksburg. He serves as the secretary of the Experimental Rocketry Team, a Statler Ambassador and a member of the Microgravity Research Team. Moore currently serves as an SGA college senator for the Staler College and has written legislation supporting the use of solar energy and advocated for the rights of Title IX complainants and underrepresented students on campus.

“Seeing the students energized with their campaigns has been amazing,” said Thanh Le, director of Student Engagement and Leadership. “Given the circumstances of the past year, passion to serve their student body is evident.”  

“All the candidates are focused on creating a safer, more inclusive campus, while focusing on an equitable student experience, student mental health, accessibility, and community outreach and engagement,” Le added.

The election was held on WVUENGAGE Tuesday and Wednesday (March 9-10).

The SGA consists of an elected president, vice president, 29 college senators and 12 senators at-large.

The 12 students elected to the SGA student senate are: Emily Caracciolo, Olivia Dowler, Michael Duong, Chloe Hernandez, Amina Irfan, Brooke Jones, Azeem Khan, Devin Price, Madison Robinson, Sam Summers, Donovan Weekley and Emily Whalan.

The following students were elected to their respective college senator positions:

Chambers College of Business and Economics
Ben Luikart
Zachary Machinga
Theodore Stackpole
Pareera Uqaily

College of Education and Human Services
Addison Wallace

College of Creative Arts
Alexis Zoglio

College of Law
Sam Hait

College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences
Devon Furash
Tara Smith 

Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
Morgan Glass

Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Ethan Cade
Sklyee Cox
Marleah Knights
Tucker Nadeau
Alex San Nicolas
Joshua Peters

Health Sciences
Jarrett Childress
Akili Francis
Maddy Graham
Jerry White

Statler College of Engineering
Rushik Patel
Tyler Seidel
Raafay Uqaily
Jada Williams   

Transition of the new leadership will be announced at a later date.