SPIA Students Make History

Original story in the AJC. 

By Eric Stirgus

Three University of Georgia students from metro Atlanta will make history next week when they become the first group of African-Americans inaugurated to the top three positions in its student government.

Ammishaddai Grand-Jean, a third-year student from Jonesboro majoring in political science and economics, was elected president. Charlene Marsh, a third-year international affairs and sociology major from Norcross, was elected vice president. Destin Mizelle, a third-year psychology major from Riverdale, was elected treasurer.

The three students campaigned together as what they called the “believe” ticket, UGA officials said in a news release Thursday. Their top three goals: making student government simpler and more connected to students, cultivating transparency and discussion on issues like diversity, sexual assault and mental health and fostering a spirit of cooperation among student organizations.

A record 8,006 students voted in the election, about 21 percent of its undergraduate student body, UGA officials said. About 8 percent of UGA’s undergrads are African-American, according to state data.

The inauguration ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday on campus.

UGA students elected, for the first time, African-Americans to the top three posts in its student government association. From left are Treasurer-elect Destin Mizelle, President-elect Ammishaddai Grand-Jean and Vice President-elect Charlene Marsh. PHOTO CREDIT: University of Georgia.