McDaniel leads as the SGA Chief Justice


David Olaninran

Dallas, Texas native Alexis McDaniels is serving as the Student Government Association Chief Justice for the 2021-22 academic year.

Micah Sanders, Editor -In-Chief

Ensuring the American people the promise of equal justice under law and, thereby, also functions as guardian and interpreter of the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court plays a vital role in America. Similarly, Alabama State University’s Student Government Association (SGA) Supreme Court is a key component to protecting the student body’s rights.

SGA Chief Justice Alexis McDaniels, along with six associate justices, an administrative court clerk, court reporter, and an attorney general, dispute complaints and cases issued by the student body ranging from impeachments to the interpretation of the Student Body Constitution.

Housed in the judicial branch and established by the Student Senate, McDaniels, a senior political science major, can serve one calendar year, resign, or fulfill her duties until her successor is appointed.

Some of McDaniels responsibilities include reading cases and controversies involving questions of constitutionality of actions by SGA officials and student groups, analyzing violations of the Student Body Constitution, and hearing conflicts brought by students and student organizations. The chief justice also has the ability to call meetings of the Court known as Preliminary Hearings (a trial before the trial, providing a preview to a case).

The Dallas, Texas native started her career in SGA by joining the judicial branch as an associate justice under previous Chief Justice Joshua Wilkinson in spring 2021. She was named Associate Justice of the Year during her tenure.

“Josh did help me a lot with getting into this position, being appointed as Chief Justice,” McDaniels said. “He gave me a lot of guidance going into this position, so I just didn’t go in empty-handed.”

Along with her chief justice responsibilities, McDaniels plans to have more workshops relating to law for her associate justices this semester.

“Last year, due to COVID-19, we really didn’t get the chance to do anything,” McDaniels said. “So I want to bring everything back together.”

She also hopes to have her associate justices majoring in similar fields as her own, such a law, criminal justice, or political science so that everyone can be on one accord.

“If I am in a group of students who want to go to law school, then we can talk about the LSAT, do workshops like that related to our careers,” she said. “I also want to do other leadership workshops like we did in our SGA retreats.”

As being chief justice and a member of Psi Sigma Alpha (political science honor society) and Phi Alpha Delta (law honor society), McDaniels hopes to create a partnership between those honors organizations and the SGA supreme court to bring those workshops to life, not only for her judicial branch but for the entire student body.

Currently, there are positions available for students interested in the supreme court as McDaniels has interviews set up throughout the week for prospective candidates. Typically, students in the Student Supreme Court are criminal justice or political science majors.

At the end of her tenure as chief justice and a student at the university, McDaniels plans to go to law school and aspires to be a lawyer. Throughout her years, she has ties to numerous organizations on campus including, Collegiate 100, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the First Love Yourself (F.L.Y.) Girls mentorship program, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Juggling between classes, SGA, and other affiliations on campus, McDaniels believes that she can serve as the Chief Justice well.

“I don’t think any of my responsibilities [as Chief Justice] are really hard,” she said. “It’s just about balancing your responsibilities.”