The Student Government inauguration of the 2019-2020 executive officers took place on Thursday afternoon, consisting of speeches from the new executive officers about their visions and excitement for the coming school year.
The inaugural ceremony, held in Rutledge Chapel, saw the transfer of power from the previous executive staff to newly elected Student Body President Luke Rankin, Student Body Vice President Sophie Davish, Student Body Treasurer Kate Lewis and Speaker of the Student Senate Davis Latham. Students serving in the 111th student senate were also inaugurated.
After the procession of the new members, President Harris Pastides made his opening remarks, speaking about the importance of serving in the public sector.
“Participation in the public square, especially this university’s public square, is among the best predictors of professional and personal success,” Pastides said. “I commend you for your commitment to serving your fellow students and to serving as the leadership of the university."
James Moran, constitutional council chief justice, administered the oaths of office to the elected individuals following Pastides’ remarks. After each executive officer’s inauguration, they made speeches in which they thanked their friends and family, spoke about their inspirations and discussed their goals for the coming year.
During his inaugural speech, Latham addressed and thanked those who voted for him.
“We have so much to do, and I am very confident that this year, with your devotion and determination, we can accomplish anything,” Latham said.
Lewis made specific mention of her running mate and best friend, Rankin, as a key inspiration in her life.
“Our peers, including myself, aspire to be like you,” Lewis said. “You are a role model to so many.”
Following the inauguration of all the candidates, Anna Edwards, associate vice president for the Department of Student Life, made the closing remarks in which she expressed her pride and gratitude towards the work of the past administration.
After the ceremony, Davish said she hoped to interact with and work on behalf of students in the coming year.
“I want to let them know that I want to lift them," Davish said. "I want to be a voice for them, and yes, I am the person standing up there sometimes, speaking for them, creating initiatives, but above all else, I want to hear their stories."
Rankin expressed his belief in the importance of continually speaking to the student body in what will be a historic year for the university, with a new university president, provost and chief financial officer entering the university system.
“I think it’s important that everybody knows that I plan on being very approachable,” Rankin said. “Come into the office and ask questions. If you see me walking into class, ask questions — and not just me, but everyone that's on [Student Government]. We’re here for them.”