UGBC inaugurated its new president, vice president, and senators for the upcoming academic year at its annual banquet on Monday night.
“I want to express my gratitude to all of you for coming here tonight,” said Jonah Kotzen, newly inaugurated UGBC president and MCAS ’24. “Your presence is a testament to the power of our organization and the unity that we share.”
Addressing the audience, Kotzen expressed his gratitude for the work of Lubens Benjamin, CSOM ’23, and Julia Spagnola, MCAS ’23—UGBC’s outgoing president and vice president, respectively—as well as other departing senior UGBC members.
“I raise my glass to you, for your legacy will continue to inspire and motivate those who come after you, and your future is in the capable hands of the leaders who will follow in your footsteps,” Kotzen said.
After being sworn into her position, newly inaugurated UGBC Vice President Meghan Heckelman, LSEHD ’25, reflected on the role UGBC played in her adjustment to college life during her freshman year.
“My transition to BC was certainly an adjustment, but I’m lucky to say that the Undergraduate Government of Boston College quickly became my home here on the Heights,” she said.
Heckelman also called upon her fellow UGBC members to reflect on their power to create change at Boston College.
“I challenge you all to think critically about why you joined UGBC,” Heckelman said. “I challenge you to unlock that purpose, that fire within your hearts, and get out there. Get out there and do.”
Vice President for Student Affairs Shawna Cooper Whitehead, who also attended the banquet, discussed UGBC’s successes in bettering the BC community this year.
“What I observed most about you, UGBC, is what you have worked tirelessly to do, which is bring back the community that was lost during the pandemic,” Cooper Whitehead said.
Spagnola addressed UGBC members for a final time as vice president, sharing what she had learned throughout her experience in office over the past year.
“We can always do more,” Spagnola said. “It’s not about the resolutions we pass, or even the advisory plan, or even the number of meetings on our Google Calendar. It’s not about what we do, but about who we are.”
Spagnola also expressed her optimism for the future of UGBC and her gratitude for the impact the organization had on her college experience.
“I will forever be grateful for the way UGBC pushed me to start on my own journey, to step outside my lane, and set a pace for the service for others,” Spagnola said. “I love Boston College, and to show that love every day as UGBC vice president was the greatest honor.”
In his last address as president, Benjamin said that while he often received individual thanks for UGBC’s work in the BC community, the true credit belongs to the organization at large.
“People should be thanking the other 100 members of this organization,” Benjamin said. “They make my ever-taxing role as president light.”
Closing out his speech, Benjamin gave his final thanks to the BC community before passing on his role to Kotzen.
“Thank you to UGBC, thank you to Boston College,” Benjamin said. “And now it’s time to hand over the reins.”