“It’s been a long year — a good one overall. It was a tumultuous time for UNC in a lot of ways, but looking back on what the student body has done, I’m proud of how student government has helped support and move things forward,” said Student Body Vice President Kyle Villemain, who worked closely with Powell on his initiatives throughout the year.
Powell said the most difficult aspect of his job was prioritizing.
“I think the biggest limitation we faced was that as soon as the school year started, I felt like we were going from one emergency to the next, and there are so many different things, from the Wainstein report to the review of centers and institutes to just, you know, we’re getting sued by a million different people all at once,” Powell said.
But he and Villemain both agreed the killing of UNC student Deah Barakat; his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha; and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha was the hardest thing they dealt with all year.
“It was simply heartbreaking, inexplicable — but while that was the toughest time, I think it also made me the most proud to be at Carolina and to be a part of the student body and this community that cares so much,” Powell said.
He said his administration made significant progress on his platform of education innovation and classroom environment.
“We have worked to make sure that active learning is on top of Carolina’s agenda, and I think that will manifest itself largely in this Quality Enhancement Plan we’re working on,” he said.
Winston Howes, one of Powell’s opponents in the 2014 race, said he thinks the Powell administration was able to begin making progress on Powell’s platform despite all the year’s crises.