A Change In U… Cause it’s Time, was the slogan publicized all over the University of Miami campus with the names Michael Johnston, Justin Levine, and Mahala Dar attached. These are the names of the 2002-2003 Student Government Executive officers.
“I am really excited for the upcoming year, it is going to be great,” exclaimed Student Government President Michael Johnston.
President Johnston has had a long tenure in Student Leadership at the University of Miami. His first experiences at the University of Miami were on the Miami Beach waterways, rowing with the men’s crew team. After rowing, Johnston pledged the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity where he has maintained the position of Treasurer for the past three semesters.
“Joining my fraternity has been one of the best choices I have made. I was reticent at first, but the opportunities that I have experienced, are unbelievable,” says President Johnston.
However, President Johnston’s passion for Student Government has always been high on his priority list. This was evident by him serving on the SG Executive Board as a freshman, in the position of Chief of Staff. The following year, he was elected Speaker of the Senate where he was in charge of entire legislative branch of SG.
“I challenge all freshman to get involved some way on campus, make the most of college. I always think, I learn just as much out of the classroom as I do in the classroom.”
Vice President Levine was not as active in Student Government in the past, but his leadership roles have been exemplary. Vice President Levine has gathered his experience through his fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha. Levine joined the fraternity as a freshman. Levine also serves as a Supreme Court Justice on the Interfraternity Council Judicial Board.
Treasurer Dar is the youngest of the three executive officers. Treasurer Dar had to renounce her position of Sophomore Senator to be inaugurated last year as Treasurer. Treasurer Dar is active in other organizations like Yellow Rose Society, United Black Students, and the Council of International Student Organizations.
These student leaders have had a successful tenure so far serving the University of Miami students.
Student Government was recently successful in placing two ice machines in each of the residential colleges.
“Well, we live in Florida, and everyone needs ice. The small refrigerators in the dorms do not cut it. Bringing in ice machines will make the residence hall experience just that much better,” says President Johnston.
This summer, Student Government also took on a joint venture with President Donna Shalala and Student Affairs. SG was able to extend the hours of the Wellness Center until midnight.
“I think this project is great. Many students have late classes, or study sessions that keep them away from the gym. Furthermore, this now gives more of an opportunity for everyone to use the facility,” remarks President Johnston.
Student Government was also able to keep the convenient store open 24 hours. Burger King and Jamba Juice will also be extended weekdays until 8:00pm.
Starting in the fall, there will be a food cart in front of the Cox Science Building and a crepe cart in the spring.
“Since Arts and Sciences has the most students, it just makes sense to have a food cart available to them too,” says Johnston.
Student Government was able to work with Student Affairs and Information Technology to place wireless internet in the Hecht Athletic Center. This will be available to all people who use the Athletic Center.
This past year, Ibis Ride, The Shuttle to the Grove, ran on a pilot basis. The shuttle ran every Saturday night, to and from the Grove, between 8:00 pm and 3:30 am. This program will be extended to Friday and Saturday nights, for safe transportation to The Grove.
Student Government was able to work with a new organization, G.L.U.E., Greek Life Uniting Everyone. Student Government successfully petitioned to Dr. Patricia. A. Whitely, Vice President for Student Affairs, for a pilot-revised alcohol policy. Dr. Whitely was very responsive to the concerns, and very willing to work with the Student Government.
“I just want to see more events on campus. Partying is a part of college, however, people have to learn to have fun safely. This revision to the alcohol policy is causing individuals to carefully plan, and confront problems at social events.”
Well, the year has not even started, and this ticket has almost completed their objectives.
President Donna Shalala is definitely a proponent of Student Government. “This year we have a great Student Government, with great Student Leaders,” remarked President Shalala.
If you are interested in Student Government, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Student Government Office at 305-284-3082.