The Daily Tar Heel

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Sunday September 26th

President-elect Mary Cooper chooses diverse cabinet

When Student Body President-elect Mary Cooper was choosing her executive branch officers, she wanted to make sure their first priority would be helping the student body.

All of it.

On Wednesday, Cooper announced that Zealan Hoover, Zach Dexter, Adam Jutha, Olivia Hammill and Lily Roberts would draw on their diverse array of experiences to do just that.

Hoover will serve as vice president, Roberts as senior adviser, Dexter as treasurer, Hammill as chief of staff and Jutha as secretary.

“I’m expecting a whole lot of work and a great outcome,” Hoover said. “We have high expectations for next year.”

In Hoover, Cooper said she found the ideal choice, who combined pragmatism, organization and a detail-oriented style.

“Zealan complements me and challenges me in a very constructive way,” she said. “That’s just sort of how the team came together.”

Cooper said she envisions an expanded role for the senior adviser during her administration. In her mind, Cooper said the adviser ranks just behind the vice president.

Roberts could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Like Student Body President Hogan Medlin, Cooper looked to a rising junior to fill the secretary role.

Jutha said he looks forward to facilitating student interaction.

“It’s a great opportunity for student input and student interaction, and when I say that, I’m saying that it’s an opportunity for students from different campus organizations to network with each other,” he said. “I provide students with these opportunities.”

All of the appointments were made after an extensive application process in which individual committees were assigned to interview candidates for each role.

Evan Ross, a Student Congress representative and member of the vice president selection committee, said he could not reveal the committee’s recommendation. Other committee members included Medlin, Speaker of Student Congress Alex Mills and Student Body Vice President Holly Boardman, Ross said.

Cooper said the recommendations played a crucial role in her selections.

Boardman said the strength of Cooper’s executive will be its broad range of perspectives.

“Mary has so many goals and aspirations that she needs a good team to push those goals forward.”

In Hoover and Jutha, Cooper said she saw age as one of those outlooks.

“Zealan and Adam are incredibly well-qualified, and the fact that they don’t have an extra year under their belts was not a factor,” she said.

“Their age provides a different perspective.

“They will get their jobs done, but they are also welcome to work on other projects, think of new ideas and explore their passions.”

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