SGA: Amarachi Iheanyichukwu


Maggie Aulman, Maroon-News Staff

Senior Amarachi Iheanyichukwu, Colgate’s Student Government Association President, is hopeful for Colgate’s fall semester during COVID-19 and has many creative and exciting plans to implement on campus.

“I’ve been on SGA since I was a first-year and have been working with SGA in different capacities,” said Iheanyichukwu. “I’ve watched SGA evolve, and I feel like sometimes Colgate students are not completely aware of what SGA is doing or what SGA can do. I think that really making SGA a resource for all students is something I’m really hoping to accomplish. [I want to] help it be what it was intended to be: this direct link between the administration and the students and figuring out how to make the Colgate experience better. I think that’s even so much more [important] this semester just with everything that’s going on in the world.”

Originally from New York City, Iheanyichukwu is a political science concentrator and an English minor with an emphasis in creative writing. She explained that as a first-year at Colgate, she did not feel like she had a place on campus, and planned to transfer. Since then, however, she has grown to love Colgate. She cites her SGA experience as something that developed her goals and aspirations as she got involved on campus.

“Social equity is something that has been important to me as well as being [welcomed] in certain spaces as all of Colgate is predominantly white, and then there are specific spaces that I occupy — whether that’s in, like, Greek life— that are even more predominantly white,” Iheanyichukwu said. “Having these difficult conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion is something that I’ve been doing since my sophomore year being in Greek life, so expanding that work university wide [is important to me] because it’s not just these pockets on campus that need that help, but the entirety.”

Apart from SGA, Iheanyichukwu is the commentary editor for the Maroon-News, the editor-in-chief of yearbook, a member of Konosioni senior honor society, link staff and Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

“Sometimes I try to just turn off my phone [because] I feel like otherwise I’m in a billion groupmes and constantly getting emails and having people text me, whether that’s people asking for clarifications on all the COVID-19 rules or asking me to be a part of this committee or this protest… and so sometimes that can get super overwhelming,” she said. “I think taking a step back a lot is something that’s been really helpful for me. It’s just like turning off my phone and being ‘Ok for like these few hours I’m just going to watch a movie or take a nap.’”

During these unprecedented times, Iheanyichukwu began her work as SGA president earlier than expected to prepare for the return to campus under COVID-19 regulations this fall. In developing a reopening plan, Iheanyichukwo said it was impossible for adminsition to reopen campus without student input.

“I do think administration does take students and, in my experience, takes me seriously, especially as a senior and [as] someone who holds a lot of other leadership positions across campus. I definitely have the knowledge of different parts of campus… It’s very interesting being in the Senate. [The Senate] is obviously a legislative branch and so you’re doing all these things like you’re passing resolutions, but being President has allowed me a glimpse behind the scenes of how a university runs in general,” Iheanyichukwu said.

With the rapid transition into her new role and the learning curve of balancing student needs with administrative protocol, Iheanyichukwu feels lucky to have been supported by the University on a more personal level as well.

“I’ve been meeting with Dean Spencer and Dean McLaughlin quite a bit and, in terms of helping me come into this role and be a leader, they’ve definitely been super helpful. So has Drew Harris in CLSI, and I feel like all three of those people are advisors to me,” Iheanyichukwu said.

While the position has been hugely demanding of her time, Iheanyichukwu believes things will ease up once the year gets underway.

“We’re doing cabinet recruitment right now, so I hope that as we finish that up that will definitely help with how busy I’ve been, because I feel like I’ve had a lot on my plate recently so that will slow down once I can delegate to other people,” Iheanyichukwu said.

In response to the Black Lives Matter protests and the COVID-19 pandemic, Iheanyichukwu said that SGA must consider these contexts in it’s work on campus. Iheanyichukwu lists hosting anti-racist courses as required curriculum, having mandatory DEI training and working on food security as some of the things she hopes to do with her platform on campus.

“I ran on a platform of equity, and I really want that to be at the heart of everything I hope to accomplish. Like social equity, academic equity, I think Colgate is such a socially stratified community, and I think trying to break down all these barriers and having it be this actual cohesive community is what I hope to leave behind with my presidency.”

Iheanyichukwu has also developed a close relationship with the Colgate Student Coalition over the summer. She believed in their mission and worked on multiple initiatives over the summer.

“I think just because it’s something close to my heart, all these student leaders coming together was just so powerful to see. I absolutely will continue working with them to do more things in the future as that’s a relationship that I can see staying after I‘ve graduated,” she said.