The University of Miami ushered in a new political era when Student Government President Lionel Moise was inaugurated at the Student Government Inauguration and Banquet Monday night.
At the formal dinner, which took place in the Hurricane 100 Room of the BankUnited Center, former SG President Brandon Gross made his farewell address and Moise delivered his inaugural speech.
Patricia A. Whitely, vice president for Student Affairs, opened the event by praising the 2008-2009 Student Government members.
“We have had the privilege of having terrific student leaders,” Whitely said. “They will leave behind a rich legacy and made a difference not only collectively, but also as individuals. Just like the slogan, they really showed their ‘commitment’ to the university.”
Whitely was referring to Gross’ slogan, “Committed to U.”
Gross offered Moise and his political cabinet advice based on experience.
“You are here to serve the students,” Gross said. “Things will be thrown at you and you will be forced to react. If you make your decisions based on the interest of the students, then you know you will make the right choice. Keep your commitment to your students and you will have the best year of your life.”
Moise became president-elect after receiving 76 percent of the votes. Only six percent of the student body voted, largely due to the fact that UM saw a candidate run unopposed for the first time in over a decade.
Chief Justice Francis Carbone administered the oath of office to Moise, who appeared excited, and his entire cabinet.
“We have a very diverse board that is representative of everyone on campus and we look forward to being that voice,” the president said. “Our ticket has been ‘U Matter, U Decide, U Win.’ We wanted the students to know that they mattered and if they decided to take an active role in Student Government, they would ultimately win. I speak for all of us when I say we are very humbled to be taking office this upcoming year, and I know we have big shoes to fill, Mr. Brandon Gross. We are all aware of the tough economic times our country is going through, but we are going to find innovative ways to make this university better even with limited resources. We want to continue to be the liaison between students and the administration and increase student involvement in all facets of campus life.”
Two prestigious awards were also given out. Richard Sobaram, the director of Parking and Transportation, received the William R. Butler Award for Administrative Excellence. Jeneta Hot, an executive at Large Internal, was honored with the Golden Hurricane Award, which is given to the student who is recognized for exceptional work in Student Government.
Gross concluded his tenure by receiving a standing ovation for his hard work and dedication for being such an instrumental part of Student Government the past four years.
“It will be strange not sitting in a senate meeting on Wednesday,” Gross said. “Or not having the executive board meeting next Monday, or just not hanging out in my second home in UC 214, but I guess my time has passed.”