The Daily Gamecock

New SG leaders take oath

Rutledge Chapel ceremony signals transition in executive offices, Senate

The new Student Government administration was sworn in during a Wednesday afternoon ceremony in the historic Rutledge Chapel on the Horseshoe, starting a yearlong journey for the three executive leaders.

“I am truly excited; it’s almost surreal,” Student Body President Joe Wright said. “It’s an incredible opportunity I’m about to embark on and take the Carolina community with me.”

Forty-five senators also took the oath; so many attended that they spilled over the three pews reserved for them in the small chapel.

The three new leaders sat on stage in between Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Jerry Brewer and USC President Harris Pastides, who delivered the opening remarks to the crowd of around 60.

“I congratulate each of you in your success. In a democratic process you were selected by your peers as having the qualities of leadership necessary to lead our Student Government,” Pastides said. “But now the elections are over, and real work begins.”

Throughout his speech, Pastides appealed for unity, a virtue echoed in the speeches of the three new leaders. Vice President Katie Thompson’s echo of unity was the loudest of all, and its epic tone seemed as oversized in the tiny chapel as its double organs.

“At the end of this journey together, pause and listen. Listen to our echo — no, our resounding statement — that will explode out of this chapel and through the City of Columbia, our resounding voice that will forever be cemented in our great university’s history,” Thompson said.

Another interesting speech was given at the first meeting of the 103rd SG Senate, which occurred after the inauguration and reception at the President’s House. Joel Iliff presented, rather performed, his first speech as senator all in Latin.

In translation, Iliff said he spoke in Latin “to honor the tradition of liberal arts at this university.”

The fourth-year ancient Greek student went on to reference Cicero and said “the name of this institution, ‘Senate,’ is indeed Roman. Our protocol is Roman. Everything is of Roman origin.”

Wright’s and Thompson’s families were in attendance. Treasurer Emily Supil said during her speech that her family couldn’t make it, but that they are “very grateful for the family I have here at Carolina.”

Josh Wright, Joe Wright’s older brother and a First Citizens Bank branch manager in Charleston, said he always expected his sibling’s success.

“I’m very proud of him; I always knew he had it in him. He’s always been very accomplished; he’s always tried to follow in my footsteps, to say the least,” Josh Wright said.

Wright’s parents were also pleased with his success.

“He’s always set his goals so high,” said mother Debrah Wright.

When asked on advice for raising presidents, Wright’s parents had this to say:

“Put God first in your life, put your family second and put all others next,” Debrah Wright said. “Just always think of someone else before yourself.”

“And we disciplined Joe a lot,” father David Wright added.


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