Habemus Quorum: the 2016 UPRM Student Council

Colegio welcomed this year’s new General and Faculty Student Council members, when on Tuesday September 13, almost 80 students committed themselves to serve Colegio’s student community by swearing to protect their rights and to promote a more positive academic environment in our University.

The ceremony took place at UPRM’s Mezzanine room; as the sun began to set, the soon-to-be members began to gather outside, meeting and greeting each other. Beautifully dressed and all prepped up, the newest members organized themselves into each faculty to initiate the ceremony. At seven o’clock, Mr. Salvador Cortés Rivera, Associate Dean of Students, opened the ceremony by welcoming guests and student councils alike.

After his message, the Faculty Student Councils triumphantly came marching in the room. The Agricultural Sciences Student Council entered first, with a total of seven additional members. The Engineering Student Council and the Arts and Sciences Student Council welcomed 18 and 14 members respectively. Lastly, the Business Administration Student Council made way for six members. Additionally, this was the first year the ceremony included a student council representing UPRM’s graduate students. The Graduate Student Council was pleased to welcome Cristina Vilaró Vélez, Margie R. Guerrero Hernández and Daniel A. Lizama Molina as their novice members.

New members of the Graduate Student Council.

Once all the faculty councils were seated, in came the General Student Council with a whopping 30 new members. Dr. John Fernández Van Cleve, Campus Chancellor, gave a welcoming message as well as the Dean of Students, Dr. Francisco Maldonado Fortunet. Their words reminded the new members they should never forget who they serve, the 13 thousand UPRM students who elected them as council members.

Dr. Francisco Maldonado Fortunet, Dean of Students, delivers his keynote speech.

This year’s ceremony was one of many firsts. Not only did we get our first Graduate Student Council, we also got our first female president! In an exclusive interview for Her Campus, Naysha M. Alcalá Loaizá expressed feeling immensely grateful for the support she has received from her peers. When asked how she felt being the first woman elected president, she replied, “at first I was a bit nervous; clearly, all expectations are on myself and my ability to be a leader, but I’m focused on learning every day and improving myself.” She also expressed her presidency brought mixed reactions. “I have received an enormous array of comments, but the positive ones overpowered the negative ones, and that is what really matters.”

Our new Student Council president, Naysha M. Alcalá Loaíza.

This ceremony brings forth challenges for the new student council members. From now on, they become keepers of the students’ interests at our institution. They are our voice. Their ability to accurately represent us and our interests will determine the outcome in the fight for the best academic environment possible in our university. We congratulate all the new members of each of the Student Councils and we are confident in your commitment to serve the student community of Colegio. Congratulations!

To report any student related issue please contact the General Student Council at 787- 832- 4040 (ext. 3409) or visit their website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Photographs by Sofía Matos López.