Madeline Hicks succeeds two-term USG President Morgan Wittenberg

Armando Marin, Online News Editor

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Undergraduate Student Government President Morgan Wittenberg passed her gavel to incoming president Madeline Hicks at the USG meeting Tuesday.

Hicks said following Wittenberg will be a feat, but she looks forward to serving as her successor.

“[Wittenberg] is such an act to follow,” Hicks said. “I feel so honored and excited, but [Wittenberg’s] shoes are so hard to fill.”

During Wittenberg’s tenure as president, USG formally supported fossil fuel divestment, spearheaded initiatives to bring awareness to and prevent sexual assault, reformed campus printing and participated in extensive discussions with administrators about mental health.

Junior Molly Lynch, outgoing director of communications and incoming executive vice president, said Wittenberg has been a major part of her life at Tulane.

“In any club or organization I’ve been involved in, I’ve never found such passion and dedication as I have with [Wittenberg] in USG,” Lynch said. “She was one of the first members to introduce herself to me when I was elected a senator during one of my first weeks at Tulane. [Wittenberg] has been my big [sorority sister], a mentor, a role model and, more importantly, my friend.”

Wittenberg said the people she has worked with have been essential to USG’s successes.

Hicks said her priorities for the next year include expanding diversity and inclusivity initiatives, continuing the conversation on mental health and establishing a cab voucher program for survivors of sexual assault to visit the hospital free of charge.

“I am really excited,” Hicks said. “I want every member of USG to be actively involved in producing legislation. I want all of us to be at ease with our committees and in our outreach to organizations.”

Hicks is a sophomore, majoring in political science and gender and sexuality studies with a minor in history. Outside of serving as a USG senator this year, she was also involved with Gender and Sexuality Advisory Council, Tulane Emergency Medical Services, Tulane Cycling and Phi Mu sorority.

Wittenberg said she looks forward to the work that Hicks and the members of the next Senate will do in the next year.

“[Hicks] has a really great eye and a really strong passion for Tulane,” Wittenberg said. “She’s really going to build her team of people who identify with that, and I think that’s important. [The members of the next Senate] are going to do great things, and I hope they’ll remember me and [carbon copy] me on an email every once in a while, so I can see their work.”

Hicks said she does not take her new position lightly.

“The duty of the USG president begins and ends with hard work, from the moment you step into office, even the months before, to the moment you leave it and even the months after, as [Wittenberg] shows,” Hicks said. “I don’t think USG president is a role you take on for popularity. If it is a resume line, then you shouldn’t do it.”