Student Government Association president introduces weekly column, talks back-to-school

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PHOTO/Stephen Salisbury
PHOTO/Stephen Salisbury

SGA President

Whew! What a week. Or, maybe I should say, what a great 10 days.

The past week and a half has been a whirlwind here on campus and the excitement for the upcoming academic year is palpable. For those of you who may have missed my inaugural column last week on, I will be writing to you each week to talk about all of the great things happening here on campus and keeping you updated on how the IUSB Student Government Association is working to provide you with the best possible experience while here at IU South Bend.

In last week’s column I talked about how I and the other SGA members have been working hard this summer to better prepare our organization to serve you. Hopefully you experienced the fruits of that preparation by getting the most out of the Welcome Week Fair, going to see one of the two outdoor movies shown on campus, or laughing with the rest of us at the innocent victims of Chris Jones’ hypnotism.

Maybe you were one of the several hundred folks who participated in the TITAN Splash Color Run and SGA BBQ or attended the first home volleyball game, which resulted in victory over archrival Bethel.

If you had a chance to be at our Black Lives Matter discussion, you got to see our academic community interact with our local community in a constructive and informative way while many reached out after the event asking for more events just like it.

It was nice to see IU South Bend garner some positive attention from the local media as well. This week, I hope you had a chance to enjoy some corn on the patio in front of The Grill on Monday, learn about the dangers of impaired or drunk driving in the simulator, and become more educated about sexual assault prevention at last night’s Sex Signals presentation.

None of the events would have been possible without a huge amount of time, effort and energy invested by student volunteers, staff, faculty and our wonderful administrators. I want to acknowledge three folks in particular who often don’t get nearly enough of the credit they deserve. Scott Strittmatter, our director of student life, has worked tirelessly to make sure each of our events goes off without a hitch, and as if that weren’t enough, he’s also been serving as the interim housing director at River Crossing Student Housing during the single busiest time of the year.

So, if you see Scott with a glazed look in his eyes this week, it’s likely he is still not quite recovered from the severe amount of sleep deprivation he’s experienced over the last month.

Mike Prater is our director of facilities and maintenance here on campus. As many of you know, our campus has experienced an unprecedented amount of water damage due to the heavy rains and flooding in our area the past month or so.

Mike and his team also have been putting in many sleepless nights trying to make sure our buildings and grounds were safe and ready for the start of our new year together. Thank you, Mike!

And, finally, every event that happens on campus, including every meeting, every training session, every athletic event, every catered event, you name it, if it’s happening on campus, Maureen Muldoon, our special events coordinator, is the person who makes sure all of the bases are covered.

As someone who has planned a number of events on campus, I can’t tell you how lucky we are to have someone like Maureen who makes sure we do everything right and look great in the process.

Of course these folks are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making things happen on campus. I know each of them would tell you that they couldn’t do what they do without the help of many others, and I guess that is my point this week. One of my themes as President this year is collaboration.

It is truly an honor to be part of a campus community that works so hard to help you as students succeed while at the same time helping each other. We as an SGA and as a university community want nothing more than for you to be able to look back on your college experience and say, “I really kind of fell in love with that place.” I know I have and I hope that in this column, in the coming weeks and months, I’ll be able to share some of that love.

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