State of the U address: Ponnock highlights ‘subtleties’

Though the University of Miami is a diverse campus, said the outgoing Student Government president, we are not as closely integrated as we should be.

“While we might say ‘hi’ to.people from other groups, we don’t truly integrate and, therefore, I do not truly call ourselves diverse,” Annette Ponnock said in her spring State of the University address. “This self-segregation has caused a lack of social unity among the student body that we all need to remedy.”

Ponnock, who spoke to a group of more than 60 people in the University Center lower lounge, said she came to this conclusion after looking back at the past year and assessing the changes that have taken place.

Unlike Pete Maki and Vance Aloupis before her, Ponnock did not mention any of her accomplishments as president. In an interview with The Miami Hurricane, Ponnock said that she did this for a of couple reasons.

“In terms of what students need to hear, I thought this was much more relevant and timely than listing through the platforms and what we did and didn’t do,” she said, adding that the Senate meeting was scheduled for immediately after and that she did not want to “go in to all that.”

In her remarks, she did say that she has experienced the frustration that comes with projects that take many years to complete. In a phone interview with The Hurricane, she cited wireless and color printing, debit-cards off-campus, a South Beach shuttle and extended Fall Break as goals that will not be realized this year.

One point that she has discussed previously is what is labled in her speech as “administrative disregard” for SG’s input, citing deferred Greek recruitment, an attempt to cancel the Halloween Ibis Ride to the Grove and recent revisions to the Student Rights and Responsibility Handbook.

Ponnock also touched on the lack of awareness of what SG does and lack of participation by students, citing the 20 percent turnout rate in the last SG election. She noted that the results were higher than last year’s 13 percent, but that many more students must exercise their rights to show the administration that students truly care about the university.

“For the average, uninvolved student, it’s probably difficult to see what SG does, but we’re working on that,” she said.

Greg Linch may be contacted at