Whigham proud to be first female student body president in six years

Pictured Carrington Whigham president-elect.
Photo provided by Carrington Whigham

Florida A&M’s first female student body president in six years is ready to take control.

Carrington Whigham, a journalism major with a minor in theater, is currently serving as the 2020-2021 SGA vice president. In the spring 2021 elections, Whigham ran unopposed and became the president-elect for the 2021-2022 school year.

“I’m really hopeful for the power of a woman during a time like this,” Whigham said. “The strong and wonderful female leaders around me are setting standards that the world has no choice but to respect.”

Whigham believes she will face different challenges but knows that naturally, she will have to assert herself in a different manner. She does have a special connection to the position that starts at home.

Her father was SGA president at FAMU and it’s something she always admired growing up because his administration was a big part of his personal and professional growth. She had always wanted to follow in his footsteps because she knows that he was able to help the student body in ways that he and the student body at the time will never forget.

“I just knew I always wanted that same experience,” Whigham said.

Tonnette Graham was the last female SGA president at FAMU. She served for two terms from 2014 to 2016.

Whigham ran with a theme of “Redemption Year” and the goal of #ReignitingtheFlame after the student body endured a full academic year with COVID.

In 2014 Graham’s theme was “The GM,” also known as General Motors, with a slogan of “Everything we do is driven by you.”

“Always keep the student body first, stand ten toes down about them and never fold,” Graham told The Famuan.

This is some of the advice that Graham would give to Whigham. She believes it’s important to realize that God has placed her exactly where she needs to be for a reason. Graham said it is important to remember that your constituents are the student body and they are the reason you got the position, so always keep them in mind when making decisions.

Graham said that one of the hardest parts of her terms was navigating student leadership while being a leader over other student leaders in SGA. Graham, a Tallahassee native, is now working as the associate director of public policy with the Florida Association of Counties.

Whigham and Graham both said that they believe the culture and climate of the student body has affected the number of males in the presidential position. Graham did not think this to be an issue but a reality of the situation.

Whigham believes that SGA began to establish a culture with a blueprint of sorts that just naturally had a woman as a vice president if a male wanted to run for president. Whigham, a Dallas native, said it is interesting that FAMU elections really run off of strategies of prior administrations that are followed by many people to come.