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    The 2020-2021 NCCU SGA and Royal Court elections take place virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. NCCU welcomes the 78th Miss NCCU Imani Johnson and the 21st Mister NCCU Nijel Hawley-Newkirk. Photo courtesy of NCCU SGA and NCCU Royal Court.

The next mister and miss NCCU ascends to the crown virtually

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A post on social media Tuesday introduced the 2020-2021 SGA and royal court members to NCCU students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members during the COVID-19 pandemic. The post was published onto the NCCU Student Government Association and the NCCU Royal Court Instagram pages.

The 78th Miss NCCU is rising senior Imani Johnson and the 21st Mister NCCU is rising senior mass communication student NCCU Nijel Hawley-Newkirk.

“I would most definitely love to have been able to be crowned in front of (the students) and then (celebrated) with my peers and friends of course,” Hawley-Newkirk said.

“But I would let nothing take away from this moment so I will embrace all that I’ve got. The love and congratulatory messages that I have received are innumerable and I wouldn’t change that in the world.”

Johnson said being crowned virtually was a “different experience” but that she still looks forward to her new role.

“Overall, I’m still ecstatic for my new role of service to our campus and the community. Being crowned virtually just means that in the fall Nijel, our court and I will definitely have to celebrate with our peers when everything is safe to do so,” Johnson said.

The new 2020-2021 SGA and Royal Court members elected are as follows:

  • Miss Sophomore: Jade Richmond
  • Mr. Sophomore: Jaylen Segers
  • Sophomore Class Senators: Raven Gaddist and Deneisha Wilson
  • Sophomore President: Nyquasia Brown
  • Miss Junior: Zoe Campbell
  • Mr. Junior: Jeremy Williams
  • Junior Class Senator: Cedric Burden
  • Miss Senior: Dallas Thompson
  • Mr. Senior: Christopher Clodfelter
  • Senior Class President: Tyrionna Dockery
  • Student Body President: Shawn Coleman
  • Student Body Vice President: Jonta Elliot

The newly elected members to SGA or royal court positions inevitably only campaigned through social media rather than on campus to acquire votes. The candidates running for a position posted their campaign flyers and videos on social media.

The elections took place on the website Campus Labs with a few technical issues according to the NCCU Elections Committee.

Once technical issues were resolved, voting officially took place Monday from 9 p.m. and closed at 6 p.m.

Hawley-Newkirk stands on the platform of “the KINGdom” with the goal of reinstating “the essence and environment of NCCU culture” and increase the retention and recruitment of NCCU students.

“I want to be a shifting point in NCCU’s recent history,” he said.

“I want to create the atmosphere over the campus that will rebuild what it truly means to go to an HBCU. I want to make people excited to run for positions, go out of their rooms, talk to their fellow eagles, and make people embrace every aspect of college life. My legacy will be not what I do for myself, but what I will have developed for my university and student body.”

Johnson stands on the platform of “Royalty-Revolution for the Evolution of You” to promote self-acceptance and body positivity for NCCU women and the mental and physical health of her peers.

“I want to bring everyone (refers to students) together to showcase successful alumni who are black professionals, increase civic engagement at our campus voting precinct by working with our alumni association and their civic engagement and advocacy model, ” Johnson said, “and by showing students all of the incredible resources our campus has to offer by partnering with departments for events.”

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