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Rojas elected chair of Student Council representative body

Rojas hopes to spend her term empowering representatives and mentoring newer members

<p>Rojas said she remains grateful for the advice and guidance previous chair Gaby Hernandez has given her.</p>

Rojas said she remains grateful for the advice and guidance previous chair Gaby Hernandez has given her.

The Student Council representative body elected third-year Batten student Lillian Rojas to succeed fourth-year College student Gaby Hernandez as chair of the representative body in a closed meeting Saturday. Rojas ran against third-year Batten student Violette Cadet. 

Hernandez was roughly halfway through her second one-year term as chair of the representative body when she stepped down. As chair, Hernandez saw the passage of legislation in support of a Student Center for Native American and Indigenous students and calls for for a decentralized Memorial to Enslaved Laborers.

In an interview with The Cavalier Daily, Rojas said one of her major goals as chair is taking advantage of her two years of experience as a representative. She said she hopes that representatives feel enabled to successfully make the University a better place and enact meaningful change during their time on Student Council. 

“I want all the representatives at the end of [their] term to feel like they made a meaningful impact here at U.Va.,” Rojas said. “No matter what community it is I want them to [hold me to] the promises that I made — that U.Va. will be a better place because of their work.”

As chair, Rojas will be responsible for running general body meetings, moderating representative debates, gathering the representatives outside of formal meetings and overseeing individual representative projects. Rojas will be responsible for the representative body as a whole, rather than solely her own projects — she said she hopes to serve as an adviser for younger members especially. 

“I have the opportunity to make more of an impact, and also mentor some of the other [representatives],” Rojas said. “Especially those that are first year [representatives] or only in their first year [on Student Council] — I think it’s a good opportunity.”

Elections for the chair of the representative body are held in closed session. The 26 representatives are the only ones who vote for the new chair — executive members of Student Council including Ceci Cain, president of Student Council and graduate Batten student, Jaden Evans, vice president for administration and fourth-year College student, Riley Reynolds, Vice President for Organization and fourth-year College student and the Chair of the Rules and Ethics Board oversaw the election process. 

Rojas will remain an official member of the representative body, and said she does not anticipate conflicts with the sudden change in leadership though she anticipates the adjustment taking some time — she said she remains grateful for the advice and guidance Hernandez has given her. 

The Student Council general body meeting is Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Newcomb Hall South Meeting Room.

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