Niraula and Jay sworn in as 92nd Student Government leaders

The torch was passed Wednesday as Roshit Niraula and Rebekka Jay were sworn in as Minnesota State’s new Student Government president and vice president.

Before the inauguration began, awards were given out to faculty members by extending a helping hand and going the extra mile to help students succeed. One of the awards given was the Vic Swenson Student Friendly Award. The recipient was professor Kari Sween who was nominated for her advice and being “an idol and friend” to her students.

“I come here every day because it impacts all the people in this community, I’m spreading awareness throughout Deaf history, culture and ASL,” Sween said. “I want to say thank you to all of the students who inspire me. I love my job here and I love getting to know you.” 

Facilities Services Director David Cowan won Administrator of the Year Award while Professor Jason Kaufman won the Dr. Duane Orr Teacher of the Year Award. Fourteen students were awarded the Maverick Shop Leadership Award for their leadership both on campus and in the community. 

Before swearing in Niraula, outgoing President Sierra Roiger reflected on her presidency, calling this year “one for the history books” along with finding her passion for advocacy.

“I’ve had the opportunity to testify at the State Capitol in front of the higher education committees and that experience reignited a passion within me that I had nearly lost after last semester,” Roiger said. “Standing before those committees advocating for the needs and concerns of students reminded me of the immense power that comes from finding one’s voice and speaking up for what truly matters.”

Roiger then swore in Niraula, who served beside her as vice president this year. They thanked their family, Roiger and several student leaders for their impact on them. He also mentioned the kindness he’s been met with.

“I’ve learned to laugh a little bit at myself, be more mindful of my actions and more importantly, appreciate the supportive community we have here,” Niraula said.

He talked about how his and Jay’s theme for their leadership is leading with vulnerabilities.

“It’s not about the mistakes that we’ve made, but it’s about the lessons that we’ve learned and the kindness that we’ve shared along the way,” Niraula said. “When we lead with vulnerabilities, we create a culture of openness and trust and we invite others to share the struggles, the fears without the fear of judgment.”

Niraula then listed his and Jay’s plan of action once they get into office.

“Our first priority is transparency. We plan on preparing platforms for us to be more transparent and accountable to students. Our second priority is ensuring all of our students feel represented. Our priorities also include getting tough conversations started. We want to address and engage with each and every one of you as we find workable solutions to difficult questions,” Niraula said. 

Niruala briefly stepped back into his vice president role to swear in Jay. She kept her speech “short and sweet,” saying how honored she was to serve the student body and work alongside Niraula.

“I cannot wait to get to work serving our students and get to work with our senators and overall student body and faculty,” Jay said. “We are students supporting students and that is our main goal.”

The pair will host their first meeting next Wednesday where the speaker will be chosen for the next academic year. 

Header photo: (Courtesy Emma Johnson)

Write to Emma Johnson at

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