COM’s Jordan has big plans for BU student government

Nyah Jordan smiling portrait in front of staircase outdoors.

Nyah Jordan (CGS’20, COM’22) is BU’s new student body president, but student government has been part of her life since seventh grade in her home state of Mississippi. She became a senator at BU in her sophomore year during the CGS Boston-London program.

Nyah and her fellow Executive Board members were sworn in just after commencement this spring, and she has big plans for this coming school year and beyond.

Q&A

With Nyah Jordan

What got you interested in student government in the first place? 

I have been a part of student government since I was in seventh grade, so at this point in college, I feel like it’s something that’s ingrained in me. From high school I’ve seen how it can force people to grow as a leader, as a public speaker, and it also forces you to speak up for yourself and for other people. So coming to college and being able to play that out on a larger scale has always been really exciting to me, because I did have trouble speaking up in my teenage years, even though I’m only 20 now. And I think it’s also really important for me as a Black woman to be there for representation. I think I bring diversity, but also diversity in thought. And student government has directly helped me with building that confidence in myself to know that I am enough to lead, I’m enough to be in this or that position, and now here I am as president. 

How does your education in COM work with and complement your role in student government? 

As a journalism major I think it very much coincides because I’m learning a lot about how media affects people and how polarization extremely affects people. How do we address that and create an environment where people do feel welcome enough to come talk to you? While also creating enough of a democratic process to where, at the end of the day, you come out with an initiative or decision of some sort. 

So I’m bringing what I’m learning about hard news and non-partisan journalism and applying that to conversations and student government, especially when we have tense situations or when students come with a lot of different opinions. COM has absolutely helped me out in every way with how to handle student politics. 

What are your priorities and goals for the coming year in COM and also as president? 

For COM, I definitely want to utilize my resources way more than I have, since there’s so many amazing professors and just BU connections in general. I don’t think a lot of students realize half the things that we have access to, and whether that’s a subscription to the New York Times, or just talking with a professor about their journalism career.

Touching on the BUnited platform, we have Uniting Health, Uniting Justice, Uniting Community. So creating healthy spaces for students, big communal spaces. Because after COVID, after students have been home for over a year, or freshman who haven’t even seen a lively campus, I think creating community, and creating spaces and events for that is going to be extremely important. But at the same time it’s also supporting students and initiatives that are already happening. I will make it a priority to listen to what students want to see us do. 

What are your plans after you graduate? 

I do want to go into journalism after I graduate or at least the field of communication. That’s always been important to me. I’m still deciding whether I want to do some type of graduate program. 

But I do know that later in life, I want to go into more nonprofit work, into advocacy. I feel like student government is teaching me baby steps of advocacy now, being a representative for students. I want to create more educational programs for people of color, particularly in the south. I’m from Mississippi and I think there’s a lot to work on in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana. I want to give back to the community that gave me so much. I want to use my journalism abilities to tell different stories, to put women, other gender minorities, people of color, and people of different religions on the forefront. I want to put those perspectives on the front page. But I also want to tell an extremely fair story and promote nonpartisan journalism when it comes to politics, just because of how polarized our country is right now. 

I think there’s a lot to be done through media, through communication, through journalism. I remember when I was about 12-13 years old and seeing what happened to Trayvon Martin in the news. And how he was presented in the media, and for me to be so young and to recognize that, was pretty much a wake up call for me. Which kind of led into my major, to my interest in political science, and how our government works and how the media works. So I definitely want to use that passion for as much good as I can. I would love to start my own company that promotes a lot of communication and education. I think the sky’s the limit as to what I can do, but we’ll see, I guess, is all I can say right now. 

Favorite food? 

This is not on campus, but I love Jefe’s so much, and I only get a burrito when I go there. *chef’s kiss* amazing. There’s just something heartwarming about it. 

East versus West campus?

West is best, hands down. I am biased. I did live on West campus my freshman year.