Second Year Council selects Galen Green as vice president

Floyd Black assumes presidency in Shawwal’s absence

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SYC vice president Galen Green has previously served as co-chair of the First Year Council and SYC outreach committees. 

Lauren Hornsby | Cavalier Daily

The Second Year Council confirmed Galen Green as vice president at its general body meeting Sunday.

“She has the institutional knowledge, she’s confident, she has the respect of people on SYC and people in our class as a whole,” said SYC president Floyd Black, who assumed the presidency of the Class of 2019 following the recent announcement that former SYC President Ahmad Shawwal would be taking the fall semester off from the University.

Shawwal cited personal circumstances for taking time off from the University.

Green, a second-year College student, has previously served as co-chair of the First Year Council and SYC outreach committees. She also ran for SYC president in one of the most contested students elections in the spring, although Shawwal ultimately won the election.

“Vice president is a supportive role as in you’re supporting the president, you’re supporting each committee,” Green said. “My main focus is just to make sure we’re all working as a group and to basically support every member.”

Green received a majority of votes from the general body of the council to become vice president.

She said one of her goals is provide more support for transfer students and students seeking a greater sense of community at the University.

“It’s really tough sometimes to come in when everyone else already has their friend groups, and I really want that to be a main focus this year — trying to include everyone,” Green said. “And not just transfer students, but anyone who feels like they don’t belong at U.Va.”

Black also shares this goal.

“My biggest goal is outreach — reaching out to people who might feel out of place at U.Va.,” Black said. “Galen was the outreach chair before she assumed the vice presidency, so it works perfectly.”

The Second Year Council has worked to attract and serve diverse membership.

“Our council is composed of individuals from many different social backgrounds and cultures and is quite representative of our class as a whole,” Black said in an introductory email to the Class of 2019 on Aug. 19. “We are structured in a way that will allow us to maximize our potential to connect with our diverse class.”

In a previous interview with The Cavalier Daily, Shawwal noted that the nearly 60-member council has members from a variety of backgrounds.

“If you look at our Second Year Council, we have so many different countries represented, we have people from all across the world,” Shawwal said. “Their expertise and vision brings a lot to [the] council.”

Black said he would like SYC to organize events that bring people together and noted the upcoming Welcome Back Bash on the evening of Aug. 26, an event he said is expected to draw hundreds of students.

“We’re mostly focused on events that help bring our class closer together,” Black said. “Those are the sort of events I’m looking forward to … events where people in our class can just come, hang out, feel comfortable, meet people and chill.”

Black also said he would like to see more outreach to African-American and other minority students.

Green said a main difference between first and second year is that students live in various on-Grounds and off-Grounds locations, which can present a challenge can be bringing people together.

“It’s the first time we’re experiencing that,” she said. “I don’t want to lose that sense of togetherness that you get when you live here on Grounds.”

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