Student Union hosts inauguration ceremony to swear in new representatives

| News Editor

Newly-elected SU President Hussein Amuri delivers his inaugural speech to the members of SU. (Aliza Lubitz | Student Life)

Washington University’s Student Union (SU) held their annual inauguration ceremony to swear in newly-elected and re-elected senators, treasury representatives, and members of the Executive Council, April 11.

Speakers at the event reflected on the socio-political challenges that SU has faced over the past year, expressed their gratitude for the body’s work, and voiced their hopes for a successful year ahead. 

The ceremony was moderated by junior and newly-elected Executive Vice President Andy Mun, who introduced Dean of Students Rob Wild to the stage. 

Wild commended SU and addressed the representatives directly for their continued dedication to the WashU community during difficult times. 

“All of you already know that as a leader, the job is not to get everybody to agree with you and that’s hard,” Wild said, addressing the representatives directly. “I hope you realize how much we appreciate everything you’re doing…Democracy is hard and SU is a democracy”

Wild also praised sophomore and Speaker of the Senate Sonal Churiwal, who recently won a recall election initiated by an anonymous petition which alleged that she abused her role. 

“[Churiwal] took on a challenge during a very difficult time,” Wild said. “I have always appreciated her advocacy, her strong convictions, leaning into the controversies that are on campus.” 

Senior and outgoing SU President Emily Chen reflected on her four years at WashU and highlighted some of SU’s recent accomplishments. 

“We had the opportunity to start the first round of the SU endowment awards,” she said. “It’s one of the biggest things we’ve been able to do to help recognize and reward passionate students.”

Chen also offered advice and well wishes to the SU members who will serve in the coming term. 

“Stay true to yourself and have fun,” she said. “Don’t take on too much, know where your capacities and boundaries are, go out, enjoy campus, do other things, and remember that the most important thing that we will take away from SU are the memories and lifelong relationships built.” 

Senior and Chief Justice Julia Cleary took the stage and administered the oath of office to the incoming executive team, 11 Treasury representatives, and 11 senators. 

Moments after being sworn into his new role as Executive President, junior Hussein Amuri took the stage to deliver his inaugural address. 

“I chose to run because of my uncompromising hope in the decency and resilience that my fellow WashU students have shown throughout this year,” Amuri said. “Because I believe SU has an obligation to affirm the stories and lived experiences of all WashU students…[and] because of my trust in my colleagues and friends in SU,”

Amuri also called for unity within the student government. 

“If we want to go faster as a student body government, we go alone,” he said. “But, if we want to go further on behalf of our peers, we go together as a unified government.”

First-year and newly-elected senator Maya Santhanam expressed her excitement for her upcoming term.

“I’m really excited to learn more about the structure [of SU], learn more about how I can best represent my peers, what sort of initiatives I can spearhead or support,” Santhanam said. “I think it’s exciting that I have this opportunity and I want to use it as best I can.”

She also shared her hopes for the future of SU. 

“I look forward to periods where there will be more transparency, more cordial, respectful relations,” Santhanam said. “But, some of the things that are going on right now are inherent to politics and part of our job as senators is going to be embracing the uncomfortable.”

First-year and newly-elected Treasury representative Romen Der Manuelian conveyed his thoughts on the present state of SU and his aspirations for its future. 

“Ensuring cooperation between Treasury and Senate has been a priority for the [Executive Board], and that’s got to continue going forward,” he said. “SU does have an impact on folks here in the community, and so it’s important that we build a more cohesive, cooperative student government at WashU.”

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