New Student Government Sworn In
At 8 PM last night the newly elected senators and executive council for the SVUSA were sworn in to their respective positions. The ceremony included the signing of a pledge by each elected student to “uphold the mission of Southern Virginia University” and “both live and defend the code of honor” while “preparing leader servants through example and diligent service.”
After the pledge was repeated and signed by each officer, associate dean of students Joe Bouchelle awarded those who served in student government for the last year with a “Jefferson Cup”, a round cup made of pewter, alluding to the state of Virginia’s history of presidents. “Virginia is known as the mother of Presidents,” explained Bouchelle after presenting the keepsake. “There have been 15 people who have served as student body president.” He continued, “15 people out of thousands of students. People who are willing to serve as student body president truly are leader servants.”
After his remarks on past Student Body Presidents, Bouchelle also awarded former president Zach Garner with a plaque depicting a gavel, inscribed with his name.
To conclude the ceremony, newly appointed President Paul K. Sybrowsky was asked to give a few remarks. “Your conduct and what you do and what you say will always be noticed” warned Sybrowsky, who then proceeded to recount an experience he had with Elder Neil A. Maxwell. Sybrowsky explained that at a dinner event on a certain occasion, he noticed that even when the late Elder Maxwell was asked a question about himself, he always found a way to make his response focused on someone else. “Everything he did reflected on the people around him,” said Sybrowsky.
“You can lead from anywhere in an organization,” continued Sybrowsky, “Every person sitting in this room is a leader if you choose to lead, or you can choose to be a follower.”
Sybrosky’s final remarks focused on the importance of self-driven leadership, and fulfilling needs without being asked or appointed. “If you are standing where leadership needs to happen, then stand up and lead,” he said.
He then asked that all present “follow the example of Neil A. Maxwell” to“let all of your leadership qualities point to other people.” He ended with his personal testimony which was followed by an invocation to close the meeting.