When Jahne Brown entered Student Government as a first year, she was not expecting to run for president. Yet, last spring, she did – and won, becoming the first female and first black female student body president at the University of Chicago.
Brown, who grew up in Louisville, KY, was drawn to Chicago for its vibrant history and diversity. Since then, she has taken various classes related to conflict, nationality, and social movements that made her a more “historical thinker.” Being a history major, she says, has made her more aware of racial issues and the University’s role in the Hyde Park community, ultimately inspiring her to pursue a leadership role in Student Government.
CARE (Community, Amplify, Represent, Empower), Brown’s winning slate, manifests her interests in social justice. Brown and her running mates focused their platform on fostering the UChicago community’s relationship with the South Side, expanding mental health resources, and supporting the graduate student union. Reflecting Brown’s historical focus, the slate also proposed to create new archives in Special Collections celebrating accomplishments by students of color and activists on campus.
Brown says that she is looking forward to her senior year and to her time as student body president. She is especially excited to make better use of the Student Government’s discretionary funds, with the hope that more of its budget can go towards helping community members in need. As for her research track, Brown intends to further explore issues of race, class, and activism. She is currently interested in writing a senior thesis about black members of the communist movement in Alabama.