Photo courtesy Jacori Daniels
Jacori Daniels, president of the Jackson State University Student Government Association, came into his position in April 2020 and found himself immediately faced with challenges on campus from the COVID-19 pandemic. In his position, Daniels is responsible for advocating for students in the event of problems on campus, overseeing school events and searching for ways to improve campus life and raise student morale.
Even though the pandemic rendered traditional SGA activities such as homecoming and commencement ceremonies impossible, Daniels still led the SGA to carry out its annual in-person fall voter registration drive, partnering with the Campus Activities Board and internal and external university partners to make needed changes to the process.
"The voter registration drive is something we always do at JSU, but COVID presented us with a serious issue this year, and we needed new guidelines for it," Daniels says. "I looked at other schools and community organizations to see how they were doing drives and then added our own JSU touch to it. We had campus organization reps spaced out for social distancing and passed out T-shirts to help students identify them while we conducted on-campus testing for students."
Daniels' platform as SGA president is "Providing Opportunities Where Everyone Rises," or "POWER." His key goals have been to increase efforts to help students apply for scholarships and use all available resources to improve the JSU campus. By the end of February, he also plans to assist the university's biology students by giving out free Medical College Admission Test books.
"My principle is to see that everyone rises to the top," Daniels says. "I don't want to just be there by myself. I want to advance my community and everyone around so that we all benefit and everyone can grow into the person they want to be."
Daniels, 22, graduated from Raymond High School and is set to graduate from JSU later this year with a bachelor's degree in biology. He has a 4.0 GPA in the JSU College of Science, Engineering and Technology and will begin attending University of Mississippi Medical Center starting in the fall. Daniels previously worked as a summer intern at UMMC while carrying out his SGA duties.
The Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program awarded Daniels a $30,000 scholarship to attend UMMC. His goal is to practice internal medicine with an emphasis in pediatrics, and to work in and give back to rural Mississippi areas such as his home town of Hazlehurst, many of which face hospital closures and lack of adequate medical resources.
Daniels was a member of the JSU Blue Ambassadors during his freshman year, giving campus tours and teaching students about the school in an effort to increase enrollment. He is a member of the JSU NAACP and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Daniels also works as an organic chemistry tutor for fellow JSU students.