After more than a month of delays due to campaign disputes, Student Body President Nithin Palyam and Vice President Amy Pham were officially inaugurated Tuesday to begin the third post-consolidated term.
Nearly 60 people attended the event, with the bulk of the audience in person and some online. The ceremony began shortly after 5 p.m. and lasted about 18 minutes.
Dean of Students Danielle McDonald congratulated Palyam and Pham and reminded them how everything they do is now a representation of the university’s 50,000-person student body. However, despite the importance and pressure the positions place on them, she encouraged the pair to always put their well-being first.
“You represent student governance not only how you conduct yourselves on campus, but also on Saturday night with your friends and your online presence and your academics,” McDonald said. “You should learn from [the difficulties] and laugh from them. Maybe shed a few tears, but the good stuff should always outweigh the bad.”
Although he had intentions to attend the University of San Francisco, Palyam said his guidance counselor’s misinterpretation of the USF acronym has been a blessing in disguise.
The transition from becoming a student of a university he never heard of via a miscommunication to becoming that school’s student body president has been a difficult yet fruitful challenge, according to Palyam.
With his college experience being built on surprising twists and turns, Palyam said he expects difficulty in achieving his administrative goals and is prepared to work hard to get them done.
“The journey from being a scared international student with very little communication skills to being the student body president later was incredible and hard,” Palyam said. “I don’t expect the journey forward to be easy as well, but now I know that I can rely on my fellow leaders for the support and making a positive impact on the USF student body and the USF community.”
For Pham, becoming the student body vice president was just as surprising. Initially joining Student Government (SG) as a senator to learn about the inner workings and secrets of the university, Pham said she never imagined it would result in her becoming a representative for all of USF.
After being able to work as a point of contact between students and SG, Pham said she fell in love with the organization and was eventually convinced to run for vice president by Palyam’s passion for leadership.
With the contentions surrounding their victory, Palyam and Pham said they are grateful for the student body continually supporting them and having faith in their ability to serve.
“I promise that I will do everything in my power to fulfill my responsibilities and make the best decisions I can as the president for the improvement of the student life at our university,” Palyam said.