With the school year coming to an end, this was a week of reflection and transition for Student Government. The Undergraduate Student Senate closed its 2008–2009 session, and I’d like to congratulate the body on a successful and visible year. Next year’s Senate Executive Committee was also established, chaired by current H&SS sophomore Aaron Gross. I’m confident that he will do an excellent job in that role because of his sound experience as a member of the Finance Committee last term. The Graduate Student Assembly will remain in its current form, as its board elections occur on a calendar-year basis. GSA president Patrick Kelley has done a good job of working with undergraduate students thus far, and I hope to see collaboration between Senate and GSA continue to develop next year.
When Pooja and I decided to run for Student Body Vice-President and President, we ran on a platform focused on initiatives that would unite students and increase campus pride. Through programs like Fall 2008 Football Fever, Safety and Dining task forces, and StuGov Loop Bus, I’m hopeful that we’ve been successful. After four years, I realize that the problem really isn’t a lack of spirit on our campus. Students have a ton of spirit around the activities that they are involved with, yet we have a hard time connecting that to the university at large. My hope is that Student Government can continue to offer programs that foster a sense of community on campus.
As we look forward to next year, there are a number of challenges that remain for Student Government, the largest being how to remain visible and connected. I think that Timi and Adam have a great plan in place, particularly surrounding an increased use of web-based technology. Connectedness is a two-way street, however. I encourage all of you to provide the new executives with continued feedback and support in the same way that you have helped Pooja and me throughout our term.
Finally, I’d like to thank the Tartan staff, including Jessica Thurston and Heather Tomko, my editors, for their help. One last column plug: Next Wednesday, Student Government is sponsoring a Coffee and Conversations event in Warner Hall Conference Room East at 4:30 p.m., followed by the Pittsburgh Mayoral Debate at 6:30 p.m. in McConomy Auditorium. Congratulations Class of 2009!