Twenty nine new Student Assembly members were sworn in during the inauguration ceremony in the Wren Chapel yesterday evening.
In his first address as SA president, Chase Koontz ’14 emphasized communication and collaboration as keys to success.
“As I wrote down my thoughts for this meeting, I soon realized that those centralized on the importance of striving to bring a broader conversation between students and their Student Assembly,” Koontz said.
Koontz also mentioned the plans for a new SA website next fall and the ways in which he will collaborate with the College’s D.C. office.
Reveley, the keynote speaker, advised the new SA leaders to take the entire College community into account when making decisions next year.
“Since leadership is power, it is very important that those in positions of leadership operate in a way that is often called server-leader,” Reveley said. “And server-leaders do use their power to make improvements in the lives in the other people and institutions. They don’t lead simply to serve their egos. And fortunately, in my experience, all the leaders at William and Mary follow the tradition of server-leaders.”
Reveley said that in his experience, leading has been an opportunity to understand how to accomplish things and work with people.
The event brought out a variety of crowd members including current SA members, College President Taylor Reveley, Vice President of Student Affairs Virginia Ambler ’88 Ph.D. ’06, Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement and Leadership Drew Stelljes and City of Williamsburg Mayor Clyde Haulman.
In his last speech as SA president, President emeritus Curt Mills ’13 thanked several members of his cabinet, including outgoing Secretary of Finance and current Class of 2014 Treasurer Brett Prestia ’14, outgoing Secretary of Student Health and Safety Jake Lewitz ’13, outgoing Secretary of Diversity Neal Chhabra ’13, and outgoing Undersecretary of Voter Registration Zach Woodword ’14 as well as Elections Comission Chair T.J. O’Sullivan ’13 and outgoing Chief of Staff MacKenzie Wenner ’13.
Mills also thanked outgoing Vice President Melanie Levine ’13 for running with him, outgoing senator Drew Wilke ’15 for leading the SA reform efforts and outgoing senate chair Kendall Lorenzen ’15.
“Kendall is the first sophomore that I know to chair the senate and the first sophomore girl certainly to chair the senate, which often is the ultimate boy’s club,” Mills said.
He reflected on the SA’s projects during the past year.
“Take a minute to analyze our achievements: we brought the [His Holiness the] Dalai Lama and Kendrick Lamar to campus, we ran another successful Charter Day … we revamped I AM W&M week, we didn’t raise the student activities fee, we kept STI [testing] and flu shots. … We’ve done a lot,” Mills said.
Mills recommended that SA members focus on achieving tangible goals next year.