Our President Speaks

Student Government [SG] is making changes. That was the message Vance Aloupis, SG president, imparted upon SG senators and students at his State of the University address last Wednesday at the SG senate meeting.

“I just wanted to show the Senators and students what Student Government has done, illustrate to them the fact that we have changed a lot of aspects of student life,” Aloupis said after his speech.

Senators agreed that Aloupis achieved his goal.

“I think that he conveyed great confidence in what he does and what he plans to do, and conviction in what we can do to make the University better than when we arrived,” Stephanie Scotto, business senator, said.

Aloupis discussed the many SG endeavors of the eight months, describing them as “unimaginable, indescribable and unbelievable.”

“You have all done so much over the past eight months and I want to take this time to reflect on what Student Government has brought to UM,” Aloupis said.

Aloupis recounted everything that SG has done since the Executive Board’s first initiative of opening of the 24-hour library and convenience store during the week of exams, up to the more recent Ibis Ride services on Halloween.

“Last year the Halloween Ibis Ride had approximately 500 riders,” Aloupis said. “This year, due to the increased number of shuttles, the two pick up locations, and the SG facilitators, we were able to transport 1600 UM students on Halloween night.”

“Last year, the Halloween Ibis Ride had approximately 500 riders. This year, due to the increased number of shuttles, the two pick up locations, and the SG facilitators, we were able to transport 1,600 students on Halloween night.”VANCE ALOUPIS, SG President

Among the other notable accomplishments Aloupis talked about were the creation of the Budgetary Review Committee, Napster on campus, modification of Orange Bowl procedures and CD-carrying cases on cardio equipment in the Wellness Center.

“I’m a little upset that he didn’t talk about homecoming,” Alberto Orizando, commuter senator, said. “That was a huge initiative he supported greatly and I wish he would have mentioned it.”

Aloupis talked about many projects currently in the works, including the addition of service learning component to classes, ‘Cane Exchange – an eBay-like web service, and umbrellas that will be available to students on rainy days, to be checked out through ‘Cane Cards.

While Aloupis did not mention any shortcomings of the SG staff during the past eight months, he did acknowledge a lack of publicity for Napster.

“Due to several important events throughout September, including the Dalai Lama visit and the [Presidential] Debate, the publicity for Napster was limited,” Aloupis said. “Since then we have launched another major publicity campaign.”

Aloupis thanked individual senators and board members for their individual accomplishments and initiatives.

He congratulated Senior Senator Billy Bludgus for his work in bringing a new recycling program to campus, and College of Arts and Sciences Senator Mike Levine for the progress in adding an Asian and Middle Eastern Studies department to the University.

To conclude his speech, Aloupis discussed the role of SG in the future in supporting the major initiative of a new, state of the art Student Activity Center.

“That is what I see for the future of SG and I hope many of you share the same vision,” Aloupis said.

According to Aloupis, the Center will be a four-story glass building, “the focal point of our campus,” with office space for student organizations, “real” ballrooms, retail shops, and a new and improved Rathskeller.

“We are all here for a common cause: to leave our University in a better state than when we arrived,” Aloupis said. “We have done that and we will continue to do it for years to come.”

Megha Garg can be contacted at m.garg2@umiami.edu.