Brian Carter, SGA President
Hostos Community College welcomed the Student Government Association's (SGA) new administration during a virtual inauguration ceremony held Wednesday, March 17.
Jerry Rosa, Director of Student Activities and SGA advisor, led the ceremony, which he counts among one of his favorite College events. "It is a ceremony filled with hope, purpose, and unity," he said in advance of the occasion. "The Inauguration is an affirmation of the members' commitment to serving the student community."
Throughout the event, the SGA’s new members received praise and words of advice from Hostos administrators. Interim President Daisy Cocco De Filippis delivered remarks and congratulations to the new administration, encouraging them to serve as role models for their peers and always act for the greater good during their tenure. Provost Charles Drago echoed Cocco De Filippis' remarks and reminded SGA members that they were elected because people believed in them, and now they have the power to enact change for the students they represent. He also advised them to practice effective listening, as "this will enable you as leaders to make the connection with your constituents." Esther Rodríguez-Chardavoyne, Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and Interim VP for Student Development and Enrollment Management (SDEM), also offered words of congratulations and advice, encouraging all members to "always put our students first."
Rosa swore in the new members, beginning with the Executive Officers: Brian Carter, President; Ibrahim Mohammed, Vice President for Student Affairs and Community Relations; Charles Dour, Vice President for Academic Affairs/Chair of the Senate; Hatem Anaam, Budget and Finance Commissioner; Amidiya Kyemtore, Executive Secretary; Monsita Colón, Campus Affairs Commissioner; Mohamed Nashir, Evening and Part-Time Student Affairs Commissioner. He then swore in the SGA Senators: Abdul Abubakar, Salimatou Bah, Junior Carela, Susan Cortes, Raymond Flowers, Isabel Neira Sánchez, Malik Pellington, Abdulrazak Saadu, and Bouampoundi Thiombiano.
Jason Libfeld, Student Leadership Coordinator, was also in attendance to applaud the new administration. Ahead of the ceremony, he explained the importance and evolution of the College's inauguration traditions. "Hostos has developed a legacy of honoring student leaders through the inauguration process, which provides for new members of the organization to be sworn in and for the President of the SGA to provide remarks establishing the vision for the group in the months to follow," he said. "Hostos has also held a tradition for the last 11 years of providing personalized gavels to the President and the Chair of the Senate as a symbol of their leadership in the ongoing meetings that take place throughout the year. All senators are also presented with the Hostos SGA lapel pin, in the shape of the SGA Crest designed by their predecessors." Because this spring's inauguration was held virtually over Zoom, Carter and Dour will have their gavels and the Senators their pins mailed to them.
The event closed with remarks from the SGA President, Brian Carter, who thanked current and former members of the SGA for their dedication to Hostos' students. He went on to share the SGA is currently working in collaboration with the Counseling Center to encourage students to utilize the mental health resources provided at the College. He also noted several upcoming workshop series dedicated to improving financial literacy and facilitating candid conversations.
Although this year's ceremony looked different from those of yesteryear, the warmth and abundance of pride shown by College administrators, faculty, staff, and students toward the SGA’s new administration was ever-present and radiated through the screen. Ahead of the event, Tovah Thompson, one of the counselors working with the new SGA, beautifully captured such an event's significance. "The SGA inauguration is a reminder of our students accepting challenges and choosing growth as they give of themselves," she said. "It is a celebration of their promise and their connection to those who came before them and those that will come after."
Learn more about the SGA and its current members here.