The Tampa campus’ gubernatorial leadership was passed on to Gov. Joey Cipriano and Lt. Gov. Gabrielle Henry at Friday’s inauguration, commencing the start of the third post-consolidated term.
Around 70 people attended the event, including former and present gubernatorial leadership from all three campuses and President Rhea Law. The ceremony began at 1 p.m. in room 2708 of the Marshall Student Center and ended about an hour later.
The presidential inauguration was intended to follow the gubernatorial ceremony. However, due to a major grievance being filed by the opposing ticket, it has been indefinitely postponed until the Supreme Court announces its decision, according to Supervisor of Elections Savannah Carr.
Law took the stage to recognize the former gubernatorial administrations from all three campuses, commending them for pursuing leadership opportunities while completing an education.
After Chief Justice Hellen Pope swore the pair in, Cipriano and Henry assured the student body they will serve them with intent. Having extensive campaign promises, such as incorporating a bus system between the three campuses, both of them echoed their desire to work closely with the leadership of St. Pete and Sarasota-Manatee.
“While Joey and I were the only tickets around in the government races, we appreciate every single vote for us, and we make a solemn promise to every single student that we will prove to them why we’re not just the only option, but the best option,” Henry said.
Cipriano and Henry promised to fulfill the values of their campaign acronym C.A.R.E. – connection, advocacy, representation and environmentally friendly – by ensuring the student body they will cultivate a more inclusive and equitable campus.
Although they received the oath on their respective campus, the new St. Pete leadership, Gov. Sean Schrader and Lt. Gov. Joshua Rampertab, were granted the same opportunity to introduce themselves and congratulate the pair. Sarasota-Manatee’s Gov.-elect Evelyn Deoliveira and Lt. Gov.-elect Madison Sosa followed suit, despite not being sworn in yet.
Dean of Students Danielle McDonald urged the gubernatorial leadership from all campuses to passionately take on their new roles, while also remaining true to themselves. Overall, she said the demanding work of the office is an opportunity for them to grow as leaders and cement a legacy at their university.
“While we expect you to take these roles seriously, do not compromise your ethics, your integrity, your relationships, your education or your health,” she said. “You should laugh, and cry sometimes, but the good should always outweigh the bad.
“I look forward to seeing what you accomplish this year and the impact these experiences will have both on you and our campuses.”
Being part of Student Government equips you with leadership experiences necessary for the real world, according to Law. She said that all of their hard work in office will not go overlooked.
“You will be able to say that you were in the administration for Student Government in this university and people are going to take notice of that and recognize how important it is,” Law said. “I want to thank you for taking the time to take and have this experience because I promise you, it’s going to benefit you.”