Student Government members, administrators and supporters gathered at the Convocation Center Hurricane 100 room to welcome the new executive board for the 2005-2006 school year at the Student Government (SG) Inauguration held Wednesday evening.
Outgoing executive branch officers President Vance Aloupis, Vice President Minal Ahson and Treasurer Stephanie Berg stepped down, while incoming officers President Peter Maki, Vice President Paula Georg and Treasurer Ciara Mohamed were sworn in.
After an inaugural dinner and a presentation of awards to especially recognized Student Government members, Aloupis stressed the importance of SG’s presence in all areas of the University community.
“Student Government will become stronger the more visible it becomes,” Aloupis said. “This is one of the challenges ahead.”
He thanked a number of administrators and students, including University President Donna Shalala, Dean of Student Affairs Richard Walker, and Provost and Executive Vice-President Luis Glaser, and the rest of the Executive Branch and the Senate.
Aloupis recalled humorous and inspiring moments of his term, including how he would frequently tease Secretary Gloria Cooper about being his girlfriend.
“She hates when I do that,” Aloupis said.
Wishing the new board the best of luck and calling incoming president Maki his hero, Aloupis stepped down to allow the swearing in of the new officers, who vowed to “preserve, protect and defend” the University constitution and to carry out the responsibilities of their respective offices.
Maki spoke about his inspiration to take office, mentioning Aloupis’ friendship and support and his father, who put himself through medical school on “bologna sandwiches and canned soup.”
Noting how President Shalala said that being an officer is all about getting people to change their mind about something, Maki said that like Donald Trump, he enjoys “thinking big” and will work hard.
Maki outlined how his platform, inspired by what other schools are doing, is already beginning to take shape. He hopes to have weekend Hurry ‘Cane shuttle service to Miami Beach or the beach at Key Biscayne running by the beginning of the fall semester. He also noted that the Toppel Career Center has declared an interest in providing students with business cards, an idea that was one of the key points in Maki’s platform during elections.
Another issue mentioned was his goal to give students the option of printing from their personal laptops when using the library printers.
“How many people have said this will never work?” Maki said, after which he noted that he has a meeting next week to discuss the idea. “I never say never.”
He concluded by describing his passion for his new job.
“This is my calling-it is also the reason why I am no longer a Biology major,” Maki said. “Tell me what you want and I will do my best to help you.”
Reeva Oza can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.