Becoming a Harvard student is a high achievement on its own, but to become the student body president thanks to your peers is an even greater one. Just ask 20-year-old Noah Harris, the first Black man to be elected by the student body to become president of Harvard’s Undergraduate Council, reports Hattiesburg American.
Harris is a junior government major from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He succeeds two other Black students who have headed Harvard’s Undergraduate Council. The first to serve in the role, Cary Gabay, was a Black man chosen in 1993 by members of the council, and the second was a Black woman, Fentrice Driskell, who was also elected.
“I definitely don’t take that lightly,” Harris said of the confidence placed in him. “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. This is a major statement by the Harvard student body to entrust a Black man with such an unprecedented moment in its history.”
To win, Harris ran on a platform about diversity and inclusion. Alongside his new vice president, Jenny Gan, he hopes to build “Tomorrow’s Harvard.”
It’s hard for me to put into words how grateful I am to be elected Harvard Student Body President with my partner in crime Jenny Gan!! I will work tirelessly to make all of you proud over the next year. Thank you for this honor! Together, let’s Build Tomorrow’s Harvard!!! ☝🏾 pic.twitter.com/gsW05pXalf
— Noah Harris (@noah10harris) November 13, 2020
At present, Harris also co-chairs the Undergraduate Council’s Black Caucus and serves as treasurer. After graduation, he plans to attend Harvard Law School to become an attorney.
“I really think that’s an amazing profession for being able to stand up for people and give them a voice,” he said. “My parents have always taught me to use my voice and to use my platform, and to take the mic and to be able to speak up for people who needed it most, and I really see my love for government and law coming together in that way to be able to give people a voice in the courtroom, and I think that my gifts and my talents would be very well served there.”