Yusra Malik and Emma Williams became the first all female ticket to be elected as the Wartburg College student body president and vice president in recent history Wednesday, Feb. 12. Malik and Williams earned 61%, or 354 votes, to beat Darren Kilpatrick and Brett Kelting who earned 39%, or 223 votes, according to The Juice.

“It is so important to see someone who looks like you,” Williams said of the importance of gender-diverse student body representation. “With Yusra being a muslim woman, she is very visually present on our campus and she empowers herself to be that way, as do her peers. This election sets a precedent, we are a representation of how you can push limits, and you can break barriers and you can do something that is unprecedented.

Malik is the first elected female student body president in Wartburg College’s recent history.

“This is something that we didn’t even think about,” Williams said of the cultural and gender diversity involved in the campaign. “Now that we are looking and talking about ‘firsts that were set,’ oh gosh maybe we did just break a glass ceiling here. We still want to do some digging in the archives because we don’t want to go around saying ‘we’re the first’ when we might not be.”

The last time Wartburg had an acting female student body president was in 2017 when Naomi Alene filled the role. Alene was not elected president, however, and filled the role after being elected vice president when her running mate stepped down.

“I think it’s really incredible that at least 61% of the student body saw that we were well-suited and qualified for the positions despite what our gender identity was,” Williams said.

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