It’s day five of junior Jessica Bolin and sophomore Alli Whitenack’s co-presidency at the Campus Y, and operations at UNC’s Center for Social Justice have not missed a beat.
After an unopposed campaign, Whitenack and Bolin were given the keys to the co-president office on Friday, March 9. The former co-presidents, Alexander Peeples and Courtney Staton, will remain active in the Campus Y until the semester’s end.
“We’ve already been transitioning with extensive meetings, preparing them for the roles and responsibilities,” Peeples said. “Why we transition so early is so that when they need advice and guidance, we are here. I’m excited to see how they follow through on the aspects of their platform and continue a trend of valuing radical activism.”
Whitenack and Bolin have centered their presidency on two platforms: increasing transparency and communication within the Y and building relationships with surrounding social justice coalitions.
Concerning the makeup of the Campus Y, the new co-presidents have noted its majority white population and want to focus on understanding and changing the demographics of the organization.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a challenge, but it’s an issue, and we need to address it," Whitenack said. "What about the Y is attracting majority white? How can we make this welcome and inclusive for audiences that aren’t white?”
Bolin followed up quickly that she and Whitenack would likely not spearhead this effort, as they are both white.
The co-presidents see their duties for the following year primarily focused on bringing together the distinct committees of the Y and introducing cohesion to exist outside of meetings. Both women have been involved in the Campus Y and committees within it since their first year, and Bolin said she came to UNC specifically because of the Campus Y.
The many organizations and charitable programs that the Campus Y oversees have been used by the UNC administration in recruiting and fundraising efforts, specifically in the For All Kind: The Campaign for Carolina.