In a final close to the University of Georgia Student Government Association election season, the executive officers and senators of the 32nd SGA administration, led by the Empower ticket’s President Rachel Byers, Vice President Melissa Hevener and Treasurer Nav Singh, were sworn into office in an inauguration ceremony held at the Chapel on April 9.

In her inaugural address, Byers said she, Hevener and Singh are ready to lead next year with their “bridging the gap” platform in mind.

“Getting to serve more than 37,000 students is a responsibility we don’t take lightly,” Byers said. “By this time next year, if we leave office knowing that students feel more seen, more known on campus, more equipped to pursue their passions and that this campus has become more so their home, then I will know that we have done our job.”

Outgoing President Ammishaddai Grand-Jean reflected on his administration, thanked the student body and delivered well wishes to the new officers.


Ammishaddai Grand-Jean, President of the 31st Administration, delivers his departing remarks at the 2019 Student Government Association Inauguration on Apr. 9, 2019 at the University of Georgia Chapel in Athens, Georgia. The Empower ticket was sworn into office along with senator-elects. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

“There will be some nice times, there will be some tough times,” Grand-Jean said.”Not only do you have Charlene, Destin and myself behind you, you have a host of individuals. You have the whole student body behind you.”

Other speakers included Vice President for Student Affairs Victor K. Wilson, who delivered the welcome address, Associate Dean of Students Jan Davis Barham, who gave the SGA advisor address and 31st administration Attorney General Langston Leake, who delivered opening and closing remarks.

“Getting to serve more than 37,000 students is a responsibility we don’t take lightly." 

—Rachel Byers, SGA president

In remarks, Wilson spoke of the importance of SGA in providing student input to the UGA administration.

“We can’t know what we need to do as an institution and grow and challenge without some type of body being made for the voice of students,” Wilson said. “I am proud of SGA because SGA gives a voice to all students and backgrounds.”

Chief Justice of the 31st administration Margaret Shin administered the oaths of office to Byers, Hevener and Singh. Byers then administered the oath to the senators of the 32nd administration.

Immediately after the inauguration, a Senate meeting was held in the Chapel to elect Senate leadership for the new administration. After the ratification of Amendment 31-01 by the SGA elections in March, the Senate will now be led by a president of the Senate, who is elected by the Senate body, rather than the vice president.

Both Senators Max Sumner, who has served as president pro tempore the past two years, and Matthew McDaniel ran for the position, resulting in a tie.

After the possibility of Senator Patrick Femia, who authored the amendment and chaired the meeting, giving up his vote was discussed, the Senators adjourned the meeting and will vote again later to break the tie.

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