She’s here to bring about actual change!
Amma Agyei was just elected as Tufts University new Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate president, making her the first Black woman to hold the title in the school’s 160-year history, The Tufts Daily reports.
Agyei was born in Ghana, moving to the U.S. during her junior year of high school. As a student at Tufts University, she has been instrumental in bringing about change, focusing on diversifying the student body and advocating for more students of color in campus organizations. Agyei is a pre-med student majoring in biomedical engineering. She is also the president of the Black Student Union, secretary of the Roti and Rum Dance Team, former Africana Community Senator in the TCU Senate, and an Africana Center Peer Leader.
Her campaign was run based on her values. She received several campus organizations, including the Tufts Labor Coalition, Tufts African Students Organization, and the Black Student Union. Tufts was named president of Tufts Community Union Senate on April 24th, winning 70.97% of the student votes against opponent Tim Leong, who will serve as TCU Senate Vice President. The two plan to work together side by side to bring transformation to Tufts.
“We talked before, when we both found out the other was running -- we talked about our visions and plans for the campaign and the presidency. It [was] nice running against somebody who I like. I think she [will] also do a good job as president,” Leong said.
Agyei has strong ideas about making Tufts better, starting with upholding its promise made in 2015 with other local Bosten colleges to increase the percentage of Black students at the university.
“The demand [of the movement] was to increase the percentage of Black students to 13%...we’re still at 4%, and it’s been six years. Tufts is not putting in enough effort to make [Black] students who are admitted feel welcome enough to enroll here,” she said.
She also plans to focus on reform within the Tufts University Police Department, starting by disarming officers and changing their names and uniforms. Agyei called them “intimidating.” Agyei also wants to address the university’s response to low-income students, an issue highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic when Tufts didn’t make technology accessible to all students during virtual learning.
“[Tufts] did not think ‘Okay, all classes are online, and some students may not have access to a personal laptop.’ How do you expect them to be going to their classes? Not everyone has reliable internet connection; did you factor that in,” said Agyei.
Agyei hopes to inspire other Black women to become TCU president. She spoke candidly about the significance of her historic victory, disthe bittersweetness of it all.
“It’s really exciting to make history. [I want to] pave the way for other Black women to be TCU president...I think [being the first Black woman to be TCU president] goes to show that the Senate environment is not conducive to persons of color. The Black student body is just 4% [of the whole]...how many of that 4% are interested in student government, and how many of those interested...are a woman like me,” she said.
Agyei will serve as TCU Senate president for the 2021-2022 academic school year.
Photo Courtesy of Amma Agyei/The Tufts Daily