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The University of the Virgin Islands’ Student Government Association (SGA) Installed newly elected officers this fall at a ceremony held in the Administration and Conference Building on the St. Thomas Campus. This governing body will serve on the St. Thomas Campus for the 2019-2020 academic year.
SGA Executive Board Members are:
SGA Legislative Board Members are:
“You are stepping into a very powerful tradition because there have been those who have gone before you who have done great things to make this institution better,” said UVI President David Hall, who offered congratulations and his take on leadership. “I always argue that UVI is what it is today because of the leadership and the advocacy of student leaders on both of our campuses. So we are asking you to carry on that particular tradition.”
Also in attendance were, Dean of Students Verna Rivers, Leon Lafond, director of Student Activities and SGA advisor, Sen. Myron Jackson, Reverend Dr. Gerald McDonald, and keynote speaker Sen. Janelle K. Sarauw.
Ms. Sarauw highlighted past leaders of the United States, the Virgin Islands, and the rest of the world as a way to show newly elected officers and members key traits and characteristics of a good leader. She made mention of Dr. Martin Luther King, Mary Thomas ‘Queen Mary’, Queen Coziah, Oliver Brown, and Moses Gottlieb ‘General Buddhoe’.
“Dr. King once said change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle,” she said. “The people of the Virgin Islands, your era cannot and should not sit silent. Those before us had voices to speak up in the face of colonialism, slavery, the holocaust, apartheid, and Jim Crow.”
Ms. Sarauw added that leadership requires consensus, courage, empathy, honesty, and the ability to admit when you are wrong. “Each generation will have their own leaders, and you are them,” she said. “You have been called to lead. You have been called to lead within this University. It will mark the beginning of civic engagement and public service. Own your greatness, walk in your purpose, work your purpose, lead, and bring forth.”
“It is a great honor to be in a position to represent the students of the University of the Virgin Islands,” said SGA President Christopher McDonald. “UVI students are one of the most intelligent, creative, and innovative groups of students. We are given endless opportunities to represent our university and participate at various programs.”
Torhera Durand, SGA vice president, said “Leadership isn’t always about knowing what you can change. It’s about wanting to change something and being brave enough to at least try. Becoming newly appointed members of SGA has given us the space to incite change, to make a difference, and to improve our university in any way that we can,” Durand continued. “In tandem with our fellow board members I know that we will make improvements to UVI and student life at UVI for many years to come.”
“We were elected for a reason, students believed in us. We must ensure that we stay committed to what we score to do and not just committed but be consistent in phrasing complaints and finding solutions,” said Miss UVI 2019-2020 Sherkquan Henry, who serves as senior senator. “Be consistent in promoting activities for fun as well as promoting activities that build the academics, the leadership, and the spirit of the students within our school.”
The SGA is concerned with improving the quality of the lives of students through communication channels and by providing opportunities for each student to participate in activities, which develop and realize individual potentialities and leadership skills as well as aiding in meaningful interpretation of the concepts of the “University Community.”
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