Efficiency and availability were two of the main themes of Student Union President Greg Petsche’s State of the Union Address on Wednesday afternoon. In yesterday’s speech, he reexamined the six promises he made at his inauguration in January.
The Carroll News obtained a copy of the speech before going to print early Wednesday morning. Petsche delivered his address on the Quad in front of the steps to Rodman Hall later yesterday.
“[Student Union’s] main job is to represent you, the student body, to the University community. In doing so, it is our responsibility to uphold the values of and represent the needs of the student body,” Petsche said. “In our 92nd year, I am proud to say that the state of our union is strong.”
Petsche praised his executive board and senators for their efforts to create a more efficient student body government. He specifically named Vice President for Student Organizations Bill Cook and Vice President for Business Affairs Charlie Trouba for working to make funding requests and approvals easier for student organizations. Petsche also emphasized getting more work done in the five advocacy committees, as opposed to pushing bills through the Senate.
“Legislation tends to be tedious and unnecessary in most cases,” Petsche said. He later added that, as a result of accomplishing more work in committee, “most issues brought before Student Union have been settled in a relatively quick fashion.”
Petsche described the efforts of Vice President for Communications Lizzie Trathen as “simply fantastic” in updating Student Union’s methods for getting in touch with students. He mentioned accounts on Facebook and Twitter, “Meet Your Senator” nights, a revamped Student Union newsletter and T-shirt giveaways as some of the initiatives that have helped improve Student Union’s image and outreach.
“Communicating effectively and consistently will continue to be a primary focus for us,” Petsche said in his speech. “The better we can communicate with you, the better we can represent you.”
Another topic Petsche addressed in his speech was diversity. He mentioned that last year, Student Union and the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion held the first-ever Diversity and Inclusion Week. Student Union also added another Senate advocacy committee last year: the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.
Last October, Student Union also co-sponsored a forum for members of the John Carroll University community to discuss issues of diversity and inclusion on campus. The forum was held in response to numerous chalkings and posters describing acts of intolerance. The University’s Diversity Steering Committee held another forum in April.
“Fostering healthy and positive conversations on campus on campus is a priority for us,” Petsche said in his address.
Other topics Petsche addressed were gaining student feedback on a survey distributed by Student Union’s Committee on Academics, providing quality student programming through Student Union Programming Board, the recently started Streak the Vote campaign to encourage student voter participation during the election season and continuing to promote professionalism and respect on Student Union Senate.