Knight to Know: Michael Johnson Jr. ’24

By Ryan Hiemenz | October 9, 2023
Headshot of Michael Johnson ’24 Arcadia University

Hometown: Southwest Philadelphia

Major: Politics, Government, and Law

Minor: Sociology


Besides being the SGO President, I’m also an alumni ambassador working with Alumni Engagement in their philanthropic work and creating a tighter relationship between alumni and the university. Outside of Arcadia, I have recently started a nonprofit with another current Arcadia student (Noel Gonzalez Jr) called the Aiding In Diversity Foundation; which serves to assist and support underrepresented students in their pursuit of higher education, overcoming social, cultural, and financial barriers.

Favorite Arcadia memory

I think I’ve been blessed being in the situation that I am in, that there’s never a dull moment for me on campus. Whether that’s meeting with administration, fellow students, or my executive board, I can always end my day knowing that it was a good one. But one of my memorable moments I have, was when Judge Cerski gave me a character talk. Now, anyone who knows Judge also knows that his character talks are NO joke and he takes them very seriously. Also, it’s not a fun experience when your professor questions your abilities, whether that be academically or personally. But for my own personal development, it was needed– and in many respects it allowed me to regroup, so I can be the person I need to be for so many people. It allowed me to look inward and reevaluate what my purpose is, and whether or not I want to try and have a good college experience. But because of that one talk, which again you really want to avoid, I have been able to grow in ways I did not see for myself. 

Plans/Future Goals

After graduating from Arcadia, I plan on attending law and public policy school in hopes to attain a dual JD/MPP degree. 

Plans as President of SGO

One of my plans that I have already put into place was the complete restructuring of the Student Government Organization, through the writing of our constitution and all of its internal policies. It has also been my vision to reintroduce SGO as a governmental entity at the University (like Faculty Senate and the President’s Cabinet) by meeting with different campus departments and partners. It’s also very important that we continue to address the mental health challenges that students face and ensure that there are more than adequate resources at one’s disposal, especially for minority students, being an African American myself. SGO has always been an important part of Arcadia, but it’s my goal to bring shared governance and legitimacy back to the organization that may last long after my tenure. 

How has your Arcadia experience shaped your decision to run for SGO President? 

Running for president has always been a desire of mine since I was first a senator during my fall freshman semester. In this case, I think it was also just a natural next step as I became SGO Treasurer my freshman spring semester, then SGO Vice President, and then SGO Acting President, and so because I’ve been in leadership since the very beginning, it felt as a promising next step. But also, I like a challenge, I knew that how SGO was previously run was dysfunctional and ineffective in getting any work done, and so taking on the role of having to manage it all was something that excited me more than scared me–as I am the President after all. But also, I’d have to thank the support system I have and received that made the choice clear for me. Having the support of the VP for Campus Life/Dean of Students, Dr. Donavan McCargo, Christine Storch, the Director of Student Engagement, and Judge Christopher Cerski, have made the execution of this job much easier knowing I can turn to them for anything, at any time.