Kyle Seibert and Bell Pastore of the Thrive for IU Student Government campaign were sworn in Friday as president and vice president at the 74th annual IUSG inauguration. They will succeed the former IUSG President Ky Freeman and former IUSG Vice President Madeline Dederichs, whose administration was celebrated for their accomplishments by past and present IUSG members at the event.
“IUSG is built on principles of protecting students’ rights, voicing our common grievances, promoting equity and uplifting the many successful students every single day here in Bloomington,” Dederichs said. “I can firmly state that generations of administrations have adamantly made their voice known at this university.”
Chief Justice of the IUSG Supreme Court Brennan Murphy administered the oath of office to Seibert and Pastore. During their speeches, they talked about the power of IUSG to make tangible change and the issues they want to address, such as making the campus safer and more inclusive, promoting sustainability and defending the rights of graduate workers.
“It is inspiring because we have the ability to help students gain a better college experience and a better day-to-day life during our time in office,” Pastore said.
IUSG advisors recognized all the seniors who served on IUSG and gave awards to students.
Jordan Davis received the Herman B Wells Senior Recognition Award. The Indiana Memorial Union Board of Directors created the award in 1961 to honor an outstanding senior who exemplifies the spirit of Herman B Wells. The recipients of this award are leaders within the IU community and have excelled academically, according to the IU Senior Recognition Awards website.
As a Black woman in a primarily white institution, Davis said she didn’t see herself and people like her represented in the roles and positions she wanted.
“The reality is if you're not being intentionally inclusive, you're being exclusive,” Davis said. “When you're sitting in a room with your peers, and making decisions that affect students, just take a second and think ‘What voices are missing here?’”
Freeman spoke about his experience as the first Black and openly gay IUSG president.
“While there's much glamour in being the first thing, there's also an unspoken struggle,” Freeman said. “There were moments where the environment made me question my work and if I belong.”
Freeman highlighted what the Elevate administration accomplished over the past year, including increasing multicultural representation in IUSG, defending the rights of graduate students and speaking out against the rising rates of reported sexual misconduct.
“The Elevate administration set out on a mission to engage, energize and empower students during the time of a global pandemic and a well overdue racial reckoning,” Freeman said.
Multiple members of IUSG Congress and the executive branch received Outstanding Achievement Awards to honor their work in IUSG.
Two students received the Parker-Powell award, which recognizes outstanding efforts by individuals to organize their fellow students on social justice issues. Sidd Das, president of Students for a New Green World, was honored for advocating for a university climate action plan. Director of Student Advocacy Josie Pipkin received the award for her work advocating for people with underrepresented identities.