CORRECTION: A previous version of this article started that Montia Daniels and Patrice McGloin's platform for their run as Campus Y co-presidents was titled "We will not be silenced." The correct name of the platform is "Our voices will not be silenced." The story text has been updated to reflect the proper campaign title, as well as the article's headline which had the incorrect name. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for these errors.
UNC junior Montia Daniels and sophomore Patrice McGloin are making history as the Campus Y’s first Black female co-presidents.
“As Black women, we know that we're often vulnerable to lots of different forms of oppression, and lots of different things on this campus that we're vulnerable to,” Daniels said. “So, we've thought about that a lot, and thinking about how we can make an impact and how we can really make a change and a difference in this community while also having our marginalized experiences in mind.”
The two women titled their platform ‘Our voices will not be silenced’ to highlight their commitment to being authentic to themselves and their experiences — as well as and helping others feel that they don’t have to restrict their own story in any way.
“Many people on this campus feel like they're not seen or heard, and we finally have a space to show that like, 'No, it doesn't matter what the previous structures have been, this is what's happening now,'” McGloin said. “We are so firmly rooted in the people that supported us through all of this. I'm just very excited to open that space up and give back to them to really have voices heard that don't normally get to.”
Daniels and McGloin said they want to continue to grow and open the Campus Y community by fostering more vulnerability and transparency among members.
“We're trying to re-emphasize the fact that we’re people first, and that this work is based on people who are flawed and need time and need space and have vulnerabilities," McGloin said. "And we want to acknowledge the entirety of the person who's doing this activist work."
McGloin said social justice work is both exhausting and rewarding, so being transparent and vulnerable will be important for them.
The incoming co-presidents also want to continue work on racial equity within the Campus Y community and the UNC community as a whole. Daniels cited the work of other organizations that are building community rooted in anti-racism and equity.
"We're so amazed to see it," Daniels said. "We want to be a part of it and we want to also stand in solidarity with them."
Daniels and McGloin became interested in running for co-presidents after holding executive positions on the Sexuality and Gender Alliance and Criminal Justice Awareness and Action committees, respectively.
“Montia and I both really connected on just how much we cherish this community, the way that it's pushed us and sort of supported us as well as we've been going through UNC," McGloin said. "And I think both of us really see a potential for growth in the community as well."
The term of the current Campus Y co-presidents, Veda Patil and Thilini Weerakkody, will officially end on March 12. Daniels and McGloin’s term will begin that same day.
The terms for the outgoing Campus Y executive board members will also end with Patil and Weerakkody. Daniels and McGloin will then choose a new executive board for next year. Patil said applications for these positions should be released soon.
Patil is looking forward to Daniels and McGloin bringing a project to life: the integration of the Coalition of Awareness, Resistance and Solidarity within the Campus Y. The idea behind the coalition is that it would exist as an independent organizing space for students with marginalized identities, Patil said. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Patil said she and Weerakkody were not able to make this dream a reality.
“It has existed on its own since 2017, but this is the first time that we’re really trying to integrate it into the Y space so that it has a permanent home," Patil said.
Patil said she is excited for her successors and the future of their term.
“I’m just excited because they’re both incredible leaders and incredible people," Patil said. "They're wonderful."
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