‘The Storm’ is heading out

Whether it was walking in the homecoming parade with COISO, winning Greek God, meeting with administration, or speaking at the groundbreaking of University Village, Student Government (SG) President Vance Aloupis was everywhere this year.

“I met so many people and had so many amazing experiences this year,” Aloupis said. “Being president has been an unforgettable experience, one that has challenged and changed me like I never expected.”

Although on Wednesday Aloupis’ term came to an end with Pete Maki’s inauguration as SG president, the year went by very quickly for Aloupis.

“I can’t believe it has been a year already.” Aloupis said. “It feels like only yesterday that I was out handing out flyers and wearing my Storm shirt for two weeks straight.”

The year was full of historic moments in the University, as well as successes for SG.

Among Aloupis’ biggest accomplishments was obtaining free Napster for all students.

Many of the additional SG accomplishments were based on student needs, not platforms. Among them were continuing the Ibis Ride shuttle on Thursdays, a Thanksgiving shuttle to the airport, ‘Cane Exchange, SG umbrellas available for loan, 24-hour library during finals and extended Starbucks hours during finals.

“You can’t get stuck in just focusing on your platforms, you have to do what reflects the desires of the students,” Aloupis said.

Despite all of the successes of his term, the accomplishment that Aloupis is seemingly most proud of about may come as a surprise.

“I was so excited to get more tables in front of Starbucks at the library,” Aloupis said. “I noticed whenever I went, which is about five times a day, there were never any seats available.”

Aloupis recognizes that more could have been done in terms of publicizing the new services and accomplishments. He has been working to ensure that ‘Cane Exchange is publicized to students as soon as the contract is completed.

“Getting Napster was a huge accomplishment for us this year,” Aloupis said. “But because of how busy last semester was, with the [2004 Presidential] Debate and everything, our message just got buried.”

Aloupis credits all of SG for his successful term.

“I had the best exec board,” Aloupis said. “It’s not every day that you get to spend a year working so closely with your best friends.”

Looking to the future, Aloupis feels that Pete Maki will be a great president.

“I’ve been fortunate to work with Pete in the past as well as run against him in last years elections, which allowed me to see his character,” Aloupis said. “He is a true gentleman, a great people person and overall a wonderful guy that people gravitate towards.”

– Free Napster membership for students
Accomplished by getting free accounts for all students

– MCAT, LSAT and GMAT courses available for credit
Found it difficult to change curriculum to give class credits, but was able to work with Toppel to offer discounted classes

– Free laundry in dorms
Will begin in the Fall

– Service learning classes to receive credit for volunteering
Met with various professors through the VSC to encourage a volunteer component in classes. Professors were receptive and some have added the component

– Headsets on cardio machines in Wellness Center
Will be added to new machines following renovations. All machines have added a holder to hold iPods, CD players, etc.

– Opening additional gates at the Orange Bowl for big games
Additional gates could not be open per order of the Orange Bowl; however, student gates were opened 2 1/2 hours before kick-off for the FSU game, preventing long lines

– Pre-med advising
Still a very important issue that the University has not been receptive to. Maki and his exec board will continue to work on it

– Co-curricular transcripts to include involvement as well as academic marks
University unwilling to support it

– Color printing in the library
Cost too high, more than 1 million pages are printed per month on campus, additional services would be too much

Aloupis leaves a piece of advice for Maki and future SG presidents.

“Everyday you need to continue to represent the students,” Aloupis said. “You need to keep in touch and be sure you understand the needs and wishes of the students in order to serve them as best you can.”

Aloupis is graduating in May and is going to the UM School of Law.

Leigha Taber can be contacted at ltaber@miami.edu.