Danielle Geathers is a 20-year-old, rising junior who has been named the first black woman to hold the office of student body president at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute Technology (MIT) which is ranked the #1 university in the world and particularly known for its superior engineering program. The results of the campus wide election were released on May 2, and ushered in a new era in student government, with diversity and transparency at the top of Geathers platform. Adding to the strength of her ticket, Geathers chose fellow activist Yu Jing Chen, an Asian American woman, rounding out the most diverse administration in MIT’s history of student government leadership.
“I see the Undergraduate Association (UA) as an underutilized engagement tool that will be essential as MIT designs and implements its plan for COVID-19,” said Geathers. “I am excited about the opportunity to amplify underrepresented student voices and make the UA more visible as a both support resource and efficient communication channel.”
Geather’s platform ultimately prevailed because of her sincere and consistent message of “Unity, Equity, Authenticity,” which she plans to demonstrate by uniting and amplifying the voice of the multi-cultural student body who she ran to empower. She recounts her first year when she felt the MIT’s student government was less than supportive of its incoming freshmen. Geathers will spend the next year putting systems in place to ensure future freshman are given the foundation they need to succeed within student life.
Endorsed by the Black Student Union’s Leadership, three class council presidents and the Chinese student’s club, the candidates extensive experience in student leadership and detailed knowledge of MIT’s history created the winning ticket. In a time where experience counts, Danielle offers a compilation of the ideas and concerns she gathered from years of experience working with various communities, on and off campus.
A Mechanical Engineering major, Geathers finished her sophomore year with a recruitment project to purchase and send 250 books recommended by current MIT students, to potential Class of 2024 members, as well as launching Talented Ten, a program she created to increase the matriculation rate of black women at MIT.
Currently, Danielle is focused on shifting student government to have a bigger policy focus, as well as a larger impact regarding national issues such as COVID-19, new Title IX regulations and racial inequality.