“I’m incredibly humbled and honored to be here, it’s a fantastic opportunity and I’m so excited for this opportunity proceeding Andrew (Powell),” Summers said.
Inaugurations for positions, including senior class officers and the 97th Student Congress, were followed by a hopeful address by Summers, looking to the year ahead.
“This is our window of opportunity to make positive change, to ensure that Carolina remains a national leader in the classroom, on the field at play and in the community,” Summers said.
Chancellor Carol Folt gave closing remarks, congratulating the new administration and thanking the departing one.
“I feel very proud of both our former and our future student leaders for the empathy that I also see,” Folt said.
She focused on the courage it takes to disagree with friends and make hard decisions.
At the reception, the Union’s Great Hall lobby filled with members of Student Congress, the families and friends of incoming officers and the new officers chatting and shaking hands.
Summers said, even though he is a little nervous for the new challenges of his elected office, he is also extremely excited to get started and make his mark on the campus.
“I’m excited to serve our students and I’m excited to have an open door and I’m excited to learn and try to speak on behalf of as many students as I can and give them a chance to speak for themselves,” he said.
Summers said he understands there are numerous issues and hopes to get a jump on some of the problems important to students.
“I think we want to start with the low-hanging fruit,” he said. “Just to name a couple, obviously Saunders is a big issue that everyone’s talking about and I am fortunately going to get the vote on that.”
Summers also mentioned gender-neutral bathrooms and making sure UNC was open and inclusive.
With Summers feeling confident in the upcoming year, outgoing student body president Andrew Powell said he is leaving the office in good hands.
“They were really meticulous about building a strong team. I think every single position, they have someone who can do great things,” Powell said.
The incoming senior class officers, Ying Lin and Brent McKnight, are also geared up to start work for next year.
“We’re looking forward to bringing parts of our platform into actual existence like Senior Day, the Joy Prom and then putting on other social service events for our class of 2016,” McKnight said.
Powell explained that if the University stays together, it can stay strong.
“I’m sure that next year will bring a whole new set of challenges but, as I said, I think that Carolina’s character is such that we can weather any storm.”