Message from Student Body President Lamar Richards
Friday, December 17, 2021
In my tenure as Student Body President since April, I have been continuously inspired by how our community comes together — how our students rally together — how this next generation of change-makers understands what we must do to ensure our collective success, and is not afraid to put forth its efforts in ensuring our vision becomes reality.
To this end, I feel it pertinent at this moment to address ongoing discussion and sentiments regarding the future of student self-governance at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
I will not be running for re-election. My term ends in April 2022 with the swearing in of the next Student Body President. Although I will not be running for re-election, I want to acknowledge the revolutionary and groundbreaking impact our team has made over these past eight months. How we have been able to make the role of Student Body President and student governance at UNC more accessible — how we have been able to change the course of student self-governance at our country’s first public university. This is the momentum my team and I plan to carry into these last four months of my term, with the launch of The Commitment to Carolina: Celebrating 100 years of Student Self-Governance in January 2022. The Commitment to Carolina campaign aims to raise $100,000 for student-led initiatives of the Carolina Community. We are excited to launch this impactful initiative.
I take pride in the work of our team. But as we head towards tomorrow — towards our collective tomorrow — I would like to underscore the importance and necessity of continuing to support student leaders from historically marginalized backgrounds — in leadership roles across our campus, including that of Student Body President. This role is crucial to our campus and is the true foundation of self-governance for our student body. This individual serves as a voting member of the Board of Trustees and is often involved in some of the most complex and important decisions made across our University. To this end, while it is rare for a student from a historically marginalized identity to assume this role, it must not be years before we bolster the voices of our underrepresented friends and peers — it must be now.
It is my hope that we continue to make the role of Student Body President accessible to all, and continue to support student leaders from historically marginalized backgrounds to fill these roles. I have come to realize that the change I envisioned and continue to envision for Carolina is not within the reach of one single student body president, but rather the revolutionary, bold work that must be continued for many years to come.
I am honored and humbled by the trust our student body has placed in me and my team to lead our community through many complex issues and crises. The reality, though, is that true leadership is not the occupation of a position of “power,” but rather the willingness to propel others to become change agents and stewards of good will.
Wishing you and yours a warm and joyous holiday season.
Yours for Carolina — today, tomorrow, and always,
100th Student Body President
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill