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Destin Mizelle, Treasurer, Charlene Marsh, Vice President, and Ammishaddai Grand-Jean, the new President, all third-year students, raise their right hands to recite the oath of office during the inauguration of the 31st Student Government Association administration at the University of Georgia Chapel on Wednesday, April 04, 2018, in Athens, Georgia. The students ran on the Believe UGA excutive branch ticket. (Photo/Reynolds Rogers)

Throughout the late nights, early mornings and countless meetings that come with being an executive officer of the University of Georgia Student Government Association, SGA President Ammishaddai Grand-Jean’s drive to serve UGA students has been at the heart of everything he and his administration do.

“It is not about us. It’s about the students who elected us. How can we make their lives better? And I think that’s what we’ve selflessly done the whole time,” Grand-Jean said. “When we have to wake up early or we have to stay up late, it’s always about the students.”

The Believe executive ticket, led by Grand-Jean, Vice President Charlene Marsh and Treasurer Destin Mizelle, was elected last year as UGA SGA’s first all-black trio of executive officers with record voter turnout. As the trio reflects on the accomplishments of their administration ahead of the Empower ticket’s inauguration on April 9, their success in engaging with the student body is at the top of the list.

“We wanted to continue ... visiting different organizations, talking to individual students about their individual concerns that they have about life at UGA, being a student, but also sharing different things we are working on,” Marsh said of their administration’s progress with engagement. 

Outside of face-to-face engagement, the administration has worked to expand SGA’s social media presence.

“I wanted to make SGA a lot more relatable,” Mizelle said. “I think our social media and communications team has done that with over one million [Twitter] impressions. That is amazing. We don’t even have one million students at UGA.”

Mizelle added that the resource domain initiative that he spearheaded is another major source of pride. He described the initiative as a “one-stop-shop” for all campus resources and said the domain should be rolled out sometime this year between New Student Orientation and August. 

As for the trio’s plans next fall, all three will graduate in May. Both Grand-Jean and Marsh plan to return to UGA next year to complete the Master of Public Administration program and Mizelle said he plans on taking a gap year to travel and do research before applying to graduate school.

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