Richardson and Brown are the new dynamic duo for the student body

It has been a decade since a woman has served as the Student Body President of Alabama State University and the second time in history where three of the executive officers were females.

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Photo by David Olanrian/Managing Editor for Visual and Multimedia

(L-R) Newly elected officers Jaylan Brown will serve as the Student Body Vice President and Gem Richardson will serve as the Student Body President

Christine Shelton, Editor-in-Chief

After a month of student government campaigning, a few Alabama State University students gathered in the amphitheater on April 14 at noon, awaiting the results of the 2021-22 elections of Student Government Association (SGA) Executive Officers.   Elections Committee Social Media Manager Makhayla DesRosiers stood in the middle of the amphitheater to announce which candidates had actually won their respective elections.

According to the DesRosiers announcement, the incoming administration for the 2021-22 academic school year is as follows: President-elect Gem Richardson, Vice President-elect Jaylan Brown, Treasurer-elect Jeremi Moore, and Secretary-elect Dy’Oni Charlton. After they are sworn in, their term in office officially begins on May 1st.

There were a total of 10 candidates running for the executive board positions:  Richardson and Juene Franklin II for student body president; Brown and Dylan Stallworth for executive vice president; Moore, Myles Grant, and Davonte Watson for executive treasurer; and, Charlton, Bianca Franklin, and Serenity Stewart for executive secretary.

(L-R) SGA Treasurer Jeremi Moore, SGA Secretary Dy’Oni Charlton, SGA Vice President Jaylan Brown and SGA President Gem Richardson

Because of the pandemic restrictions, most of the campaigning and all of the debates and town halls were relegated to virtual settings with the exceptions of signs and huge posters that were plastered around the campus.

Richardson felt as if a weight had been lifted from her shoulders after learning of her and her running mate’s victory.

“My running mate and I worked tirelessly from December to April to create an inclusive campaign,” Richardson said.  “I am so excited to serve the student body of ASU.”

A native of Hampton, Georgia, and daughter of Arnel and Gary Richardson, Richardson is a junior biology major.   After graduating cum laude from Dutchtown High School, Richardson did not choose Alabama State University, but she believes that the university chose her. She was offered a scholarship which afforded her the ability to attend an HBCU.

“I love State (Alabama State University) and all of the opportunities and experiences that O’ Mother Dear has provided,” Richardson said.  Since being a part of the Hornet Nation, Richardson has been on the dean’s list from Fall 2018 through Fall 2020.

While running for SGA president, she credits her campaign manager, Alana Foster, for all of the hard work and dedication put into making the campaign season successful.

Aside from her excitement from the election, she plans to hit the ground running with her initiatives.

“As SGA president, I plan to fulfill my initiatives by working with all departments of campus. My first goal is to get Grammarly for all students. This will be a stepping stone into the future of ASU,” Richardson said. “Being that we will be in a post-pandemic setting, I would like to help students transition back into semi-regular campus life graciously. Provide resources for students that include microgrants, mental health advocacy, and more. It is my honor to be the next SGA president.”

Brown shared the same excitement as her running mate Richardson did when learning the elections’ results.

“I was speechless and overwhelmed with emotions that Gem and I won. All of our tears and sleepless nights paid off. I am thankful that the student body trusted, believed, and elected me to serve as SGA vice president for next year,” Brown said. “A few of my initiatives that I plan to carry out once in office is to transform the “Hornet Hotline,” connect incoming senators with returning senators, and establish a regular senate meeting schedule.”

Brown, a native of Jackson, Mississippi who is majoring in business administration and marketing.  She is a 2018 graduate of Terry High School, where she served as president of the school’s Beta Club.  Her campaign manager is Krinesha Curry.  Brown currently serves in various roles, from the Financial Secretary for the Beta Pi chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., to being the President of F.L.Y. Girls, a mentoring program at ASU, to most recently being promoted to SGA Attorney General. Brown’s heart for Alabama State University started during Orientation.  The campus’ family-oriented environment along with offering a stellar academic program in her major was the deciding factor for her choosing to enroll at Alabama State University.  This is the second time in Alabama State University history where three of the executive officers are women.