CAMBRIDGE (CBS) — The Harvard University student body has elected a Black president for the first time in the school’s history. “Me being a Black man from Mississippi is not something that I run from,” said Class President Noah Harris.

“It was a historic election and for it to come in a year of so many racial injustices with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and people who were taken from our communities, it makes it that much more of a statement on the part of Harvard and the student body,” Harris continued.

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He said “it’s a message to the university that we really have to be conscious about the decisions that we’re making and how we’re standing with all of our students of color and making sure that their college experience and just their livelihoods are as good as possible when a university like Harvard has so many resources.”

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Due to the pandemic, Harris’s campaign needed to be virtual. He used social media and a grassroots texting campaign to get his message out there, instead of knocking on doors and passing out flyers by the dining hall as he would of in the past.

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“It is something that we’ve never been through as a college, we’ve certainly never been through this as students,” said Harris. “It’s been such a hard year and this is such an unprecedented time for everyone at Harvard. We’ve never had a virtual election.”