Each year, the Student Government Association president gives the “State of the QUnion” address. In years past it was a plain event, with the SGA president simply reading an address. But several SGA members are trying to reinvent the SOTQ by giving students a chance to directly question SGA and the administration.
“This is going to be important because, to my knowledge, this will be the first time at this university that the students are going to have the chance to directly raise their issues with the administration in this type of setting,” Vice President of Student Concerns Nick Rossetti said. “Certainly there are issues at this time that really require an honest conversation between students and administration, and we’re looking to provide an honest and direct conversation.”
Rossetti and Vice President of Student Programming Vincent Bond hope to have a panel of five administrators at the event, set to take place Tuesday, April 26 in Burt Kahn Court. So far they have confirmed three participants: Vice President and Dean of Students Manuel Carreiro, Associate Vice President for Facilities Administration Joseph Rubertone and Dean of the School of Medicine Bruce Koeppen. Rossetti said that he is waiting on confirmation from Chief of Security David Barger and President John Lahey.
Carreiro seemed very excited to participate in the program.
“Overall, it’s a wonderful opportunity for the students and the university administration,” Carreiro said. “Students will be given the opportunity to ask questions of individuals that are in direct contact with every issue you could think of.”
The event will open with the standard address by SGA President Louis Venturelli. Rossetti hopes to have Lahey follow up with a similar address, but he had not heard back as of Tuesday.
Afterwards, a moderator will ask questions of the administrative panel, as well as a panel of SGA members which will likely include Rossetti, Bond, Class of 2011 President Dan Dempsey, and Class of 2011 Representative Ben Wald.
The final segment of the program will feature questions from the audience. Any student in attendance can question any member of either panel.
Koeppen looks forward to introducing himself to the Quinnipiac community.
“The med school is a brand new entity that the student body doesn’t know a lot about,” he said. “I’ll be there to provide information on what we’re planning to build and get feedback from undergraduates about what we could do that will help their experience.”
Bond sees this event as a new tradition that should be expanded upon in the future.
“I hope that this event, if successful, can become a bi-yearly event where we can have a State of the Union at the beginning of the year to talk about our plans for the year, and one at the end of the year so that we can assess our progress moving forward,” he said.
The Student Awareness Committee went door-to-door on campus asking students what issues were important to them, then analyzed their findings to select questions to ask the panel of administrators. Rossetti expected a wide array of issues to be brought up, including shuttles to the North Haven campus, cell phone service at York Hill and the creation of a Safe Rides program to discourage drunk driving.
Rossetti said, “any kind of major problem that a lot of people are experiencing, there will be light shed on it.”