While doing homework with friends late Friday night in the Campus Y workroom, Imani Rankins and Karina Vasudeva received an email that they had been elected as the organization’s new co-presidents.
“It was just like a sigh of relief,” Rankins said. “Like all right, we did it, now let's get to work.”
For both of them, the Campus Y had been a place of community since their first year at the University.
Rankins said she joined the Bonner Leaders Program at the Campus Y after hearing about it during first-year orientation. And Vasudeva said she joined the organization's First-Year Council following her diagnosis with an autoimmune disease that left her struggling to adapt to her new life as a college student and disabled person.
“It was more than just friends to me. It tied me to a community when I felt like I had none,” Vasudeva said.
The two met while serving on the 2021-2022 Campus Y Executive Board and became close friends.
The inspiration for Rankins and Vasudeva's campaign came in November of last year soon after election conversations began. They said they were inspired by discussions about what the Campus Y stood for.
“I was like, 'what if we just ran?'” Vasudeva said.
Rankins admitted that she was hesitant at first because of plans to graduate early and “self-doubt” about whether she could be a leader in the position. She said that she finally convinced herself to stay at UNC for another year to focus on social justice in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro areas.