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The Daily Tar Heel

Elizabeth Adkins officially sworn in as student body president

Elizabeth Adkins is a junior political science and journalism major and is running to be Student Body President.
Elizabeth Adkins is a junior political science and journalism major and is running to be Student Body President.

The elected students were sworn in for the offices of student body president, Graduate and Professional Student Federation president, speaker of Student Congress, Honor Court chairperson, senior class president and more.

In her inaugural speech, Student Body President Elizabeth Adkins reiterated her major campaign platforms, such as sexual assault prevention, mental health advocacy and her dedication to diversity and inclusion.

“As a proud biracial woman, I know what it feels like to feel that I’m not included in a predominantly white institution,” Adkins said.

One of the first things on her to-do list as SBP is to initiate reforms to Title VI, which contains the rules for student government elections. She hopes to make appropriate changes so the issues and contentiousness in this year’s election cycle can be avoided.

“We can say, ‘OK, this is what we went through — we don’t ever want to go through that again, so let’s go through the code, edit it and see what changes we can make,’” she said.

Former student body president, Bradley Opere, thanked the student body for trusting him as their leader and said he hoped the work he put in was meaningful to their UNC experiences.

“I have spent every single minute, every bit of energy I could to be able to give back to the faith that they gave to me,” Opere said.

Opere said he believes Adkins will be a capable successor and lead with values that have been important to his administration.

“I feel positive because I think Elizabeth Adkins’ administration is going to do a good job, and I trust her to take the legacy that’s not just for me but is 200 years old,” Opere said.

Chancellor Carol Folt said she always looks forward to collaborating with those in student government.

“I don’t think there are people I enjoy spending time with any more than I do working with the students, especially when you’re working on things for which they feel such passion,” Folt said.

The importance of continuing to allow students to govern themselves was reiterated throughout the ceremony.

“We honestly believe that there can be no greater educational enterprise for our students than to challenge them to take some level of responsibility of the various decisions that are made that create the future of this place,” Winston Crisp, the vice chancellor for student affairs, said.

Speaker of Student Congress Cole Simons gave some simple advice to the incoming student government officers.

“Get ready to work, have fun, and enjoy making Carolina home.”

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