CLINTON, Miss. (WTJV) — Mississippi College defensive lineman Michael Washington Jr. now dons a new title, SGA president.
“The idea of running for president just kind of popped in my head and it never left,” Washington said. “So, after it popped in there I was like why not, let’s go for it.”
Washington had a lot of inspiration to run. His roommate and teammate Aaron Feazelle was his predecessor.
“I just told him pretty much if you’re going to do it, you’re going to have to be all in,” said Feazelle. “You know as a football player you already have a lot of obligations that comes with that. So, make sure you’re able to balance that.”
“There’s been many times where Aaron and myself wake up at 6 in the morning for football and we can’t sit down until midnight at night to start our homework, but that’s something that we signed up for, that’s something we’re OK with because at the end of the day we’re serving a bigger purpose,” Washington said. “It’s more that just us.”
Feazelle, a wide receiver, also had inspiration to run. His former teammate Anthony Jackson was his predecessor.
“I remember my freshman year when I was at orientation, the SGA president was up speaking at the presidential dinner they used to do,” said Jackson, a former linebacker at Mississippi College. “My mom leaned over to me and she told me she could see me being SGA president my senior year and I told her, ‘no I just came to play football and get a degree.”
“Anthony was the biggest influence for me running for SGA president,” said Feazelle. “The year that he was SGA president, I served as his chief of staff and that position is appointed and just as I took on that roll, I had a better appreciation for student government as a whole. And, he was the first person that I talked to when I decided I was going to run. He laid the foundation, that’s why you’ve seen three consecutive.”
Before 2018 no African-American held the office.
“Just unbelievable character, people, good football players, too,” said Mississippi College head football coach John Bland. “They’re going to do a lot of good things in their life there’s no doubt about it.”
Founded in 1826, Mississippi College is the second-oldest baptist-affiliated college in the United States and the oldest college in Mississippi.
It was integrated 50 years ago.
“Sometimes I just can’t believe it,” said Washington. “But, at the end of the day it’s not so much as about black, white or whether the fact that we’re athletes, it’s the fact that we’re student athletes and the student comes first. That’s what we’ve always wanted to do, to serve the student body at Mississippi College the best way we can.”
“When people were asking me what was the thing I wanted to accomplish the most being the first black SGA president, I kept telling them it meant nothing if I didn’t do what I needed to do to set the ones coming after me up for success,” said Jackson.