Last month, the Campus Y elected its first Black female co-presidents: junior Montia Daniels and sophomore Patrice McGloin. The Campus Y, a social justice-centered organization, is one of the largest student organizations at UNC.
This historic win for Daniels and McGloin is an exciting and powerful change. They have titled their platform “Our voices will not be silenced,” and they plan to emphasize racial equity in their work this upcoming year. Their term will begin on March 12.
This is not the first milestone for the Campus Y in recent years. The 2020-21 Campus Y co-presidents, Veda Patil and Thilini Weerakkody, made history as the first co-presidents to both be women of color.
However, the students and staff of the Y have been resilient. This recent election is a testament to the Campus Y community and its ability to further the Y’s mission.
The election of Daniels and McGloin represents a positive shift for not only the Campus Y community, but for the University community as well. This is promising, given the University's long and sordid history of white supremacy.
The Y regularly deals with issues of race in its social justice work, and Daniels and McGloin recognize the impact their shared identities will have on the Campus Y.
“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 in an interview with The Daily Tar Heel.
Patil and Weerakkody, this year's co-presidents, demonstrated grace and rose to the challenges of this year. Amid the pandemic, racial reckonings and attacks on the Y, they emphasized accountability and empathy. They set a solid foundation for Daniels and McGloin to build upon.
The co-presidents of the Y are a consistent source of accountability for the University, students and the greater community. Over 30 student organizations that participate in community work are housed within the Y. As well, the Y regularly supports activists and advocates for social justice.
Building off the work of last year’s co-presidents, we are excited to see what Daniels and McGloin will do in the position. This role demands a lot of those who step up to fill it. Moving forward from the vandalism earlier this year while still facing a pandemic will be no easy task. Still, Daniels and McGloin demonstrated the care they will take to navigate these circumstances.
“This year has forced us all to take time to reflect on our lives, as we are all faced by this global pandemic. Although those reflections can feel discouraging at times, they also allow space to imagine and reimagine the future,” Daniels and McGloin said in their platform.
As the new co-presidents transition into their role, the Editorial Board is eager to see what Daniels and McGloin accomplish.
“Since its inception, the Y has always supported us — now it's time for us to support them,” the Editorial Board wrote earlier this semester in response to the vandalism. This sentiment still stands.
We recognize the power of this moment for the Y and for UNC, and we could not be more excited for what they will do.
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