Amani Khan ’23
Blessing Roland-Magaji ’24 was elected as the Class of 2024 SAS President following an election between several other first-year candidates. Roland-Magaji identifies as African Irish and considers home to be Nigeria, Dublin, and Arlington, TX. She intends to major in Human Biology and Public Policy.
When asked about why she decided to run, Roland-Magaji cited how her previous involvement in her high school’s student government enabled her to create outlets for support and inclusivity that she wanted to see.
“Creating comfortable spaces was really important to me in high school. For example, I started at African Student Alliance and a multicultural club at my high school and I was able to do that through being in student government” Roland-Magaji said.
Roland-Magaji also expressed some of the challenges many of her peers are facing with adjusting to an unusual semester, particularly a disconnect in the first-year class and the greater Scripps community, and how that has shaped one of her primary goals as president: to integrate first-years into the Scripps community.
“I’m hoping that through SAS and through events with other class presidents and other core groups that our class will be able to connect and build community, not only within our class, but in the whole Scripps community,” Roland-Magaji said.
Despite the difficult circumstances of transitioning to college life in an entirely remote semester, Roland-Magaji also highlights some very positive sentiments about the way the class is coping.
“We’ve been able to make a lot of positive experiences with each other through this time,” Roland-Magaji said. “So I found that I just wanted to keep that energy and be able to contribute to keeping that energy through student government.”
She also described the value in grassroots organizing, and how this is also an important aspect of her campaign, as well as her goals as the class of 2024 president. She and a friend envision putting together a database that would provide easy access to local volunteer opportunities, ranging from blood drives to involvement in awareness months, all with the hopes of initiating more active community engagement both virtually and in-person.
“I think there’s power, even though we’re distant. We’re all in different places in the world… that is how you start small, before you get big,” Roland-Magaji said.
Roland-Magaji also discussed having a community open mic event centered around current socio-political issues as another creative outlet for her and her peers to express, listen and engage with new and often challenging topics.
“[This would] not only allow artists to have exposure, but also allow for education through art: learning something new to art, learning something about a culture, learning something about being in a group that is underrepresented, stuff like that, ” Roland-Magaji said.
Roland-Magaji looks forward to creating an enjoyable first-year experience for her peers and fostering a sense of community, even within the constraints of this unconventional semester. Outside of her goals as president, Roland-Magaji also enjoys cooking, watching basketball and reality TV shows, and collecting bucket hats.
Image Source: Scripps College