Thursday, Jan. 20 marked the start of new student leadership at John Carroll University as Rita Rochford was inaugurated as the 89th president of the Student Union Senate. This is the third year Rochford has served on the senate. She was executive vice president during the last term.
The ceremony opened with an introduction from Senior Senator Nick Grady and an invocation from the Rev. Bernard McAniff, S.J. In her farewell address, past president Amanda Papa listed items she worked to accomplish during her year-long term and thanked the 2010 Student Union Senate and executive board.
“I felt so honored last year to be elected to the position and I still feel honored to have served such a great group of students,” Papa said. “I took on the position vowing that passion and energy would be a major part of my yearlong term and I think I accomplished that. I am extremely happy with what was achieved and I believe the campus community has been strengthened.”
Senior Chelsey Neuhaus, the outgoing vice president for student organizations, then announced the Organization Awards, which are presented to one club or organization in each category for excelling over the past year. In the academic category the winner was the Finance Association, the Italian Club won the cultural category, in Greek life the winner was Order of Omega, in government the winner was Student Organization Budget Board, Environmental Issues Group won for service, and the overall winner was Relay for Life.
Senior Jocelyn Ralutz, who sits on the Student Organization Budget Board, presented leadership awards to several students who displayed excellent leadership over the past year. Junior Andrew Burns, the new vice president for business affairs, was selected as Senator of the Year.
The Student of the Year award was presented to several students, which included Neuhaus and fellow seniors Ashley Bauer, Erin Flaherty, Chris Haering, Maura Jochum, Amanda Papa and Victoria Shelton, junior Dan Krajcik, and sophomores Jeanniece Jackson, Kayla Naticchioni and Greg Petsche.
Papa then returned to the podium to swear Rochford in as the new president. After Rochford was sworn in, she gave her inaugural address. Rochford expressed how excited she is to be given her new position and that she wishes to change JCU for the better.
Rochford has many plans and ideas for the upcoming school year.
“I look forward to working with our community, both in terms of campus life and our neighbors in University Heights,” she said. “I plan to attend several University Heights city council meetings to establish a firm dialogue and to better understand their concerns.”
She promised to be “available” and “accommodating” to all students who may have ideas in order to better the campus.
Rochford’s family was in the audience to support their daughter, and she even remarked that her parents came home early from vacation in order to attend the inauguration. She explained how she would model her presidency off a quote her parents always told her growing up.
She said, “To fail simply means we have the opportunity to try again.”