Although not how they had envisioned this day, the Student government took to Zoom Tuesday evening to hold their annual inauguration and award ceremony. During an abbreviated fully digital ceremony on April 7 at 6 p.m., incoming Student Government members took their oaths and outgoing going members said their farewells.
“I greet you tonight from my home,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Whitely. Whitely opened the ceremony by thanking current Student Government members and striking a tone of optimism in these trying times. “We deal with the cards we are dealt and learn about flexibility and creativity,” she said.
After Whitely concluded her comments, award recipients were announced and given a “digital round of applause.” Following the awards, outgoing Student Government President Emily Gossett made her final speech as president.
“I am so grateful to be able to celebrate this year’s success,” she said. Gossett went on to thank various members of Student Government and highlight successes of her term, including the installation of EpiPen dispensers in the dining halls and increased transparency within student government.
“This experience has shaped the person I am today,” Gossett said as she concluded her speech. “I leave this role confident that the leadership of Abi and the rest of our executive board will continue to improve the student experience and better UM.”
Following Gossett’s speech, all new members were officially inaugurated.
The inductees, wearing suits and dresses, appeared on a checkerboard of mini screens and all in unison raised their hands in front of digital backgrounds reading “Student Government Inauguration” and recited their oaths of office.
Closing out the event, newly inducted President Abigail Adeleke made her first official speech as president.
“I can’t wait to work alongside you this upcoming year,” Adeleke said to the digital audience. Adeleke’s first speech highlighted the historic all female ticket and thanked her family and friends as she looked forward to the future. She will be joined in the executive branch by Vice President Shirley Gelman and Treasurer Amanda Rodriguez.
Adeleke and Rodriguez’ running mate from their ‘All In’ executive ticket campaign Jason Perez, who lost in the vice president run-off election, was sworn in Tuesday evening to remain on the executive board as the director of university affairs.
After the thank yous and virtual applause had been passed around, the event concluded after 25 minutes without any technical difficulties. Despite the unorthodox inauguration, the event received positive responses from those involved.
“I absolutely loved the experience,” Adeleke said. “It was amazing to see everyone who attended tonight from top administrators to my uncle, aunt and cousin in England, everyone came out and I appreciate it all very much.”
Adeleke expressed enthusiasm about helping the student body adapt to a “new reality” and promised to make sure every student at the University of Miami receives the best experience possible.
Incoming Chief of Staff Sabrina Ginsburg was similarly enthusiastic.
“The way it was carried out digitally was incredible,” said Ginsburg, who served on the Student Government Outreach Committee this past year. “I’m looking forward to working with my new executive team.”
Here is the full list of newly inducted student government leaders:
President – Abigail Adeleke
Vice President – Shirley Gelman
Treasurer – Amanda Rodriguez
Chief of Staff – Sabrina Ginsburg
Director of Academic Affairs – Jacob Li
Director of Communications – Michelle Marino
Director of University Affairs – Jason Perez
Executive at Large Internal – Alex Valen
Executive at Large External – Sophia Gomez
Speaker of the Senate – Alexander LaBarbera
Speaker Pro Tempore – Shrey Patel
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court – Kinnon McGrath
Elections Commission Chair – Samantha Fagan, Kruti Patel
ECO Agency Chair – Sofia Mesa
Student Engagement Planning Agency Chair – Spencer Schwartz
Category 5 Chair – Mattingly Bartole