Students, Faculty, Staff, members of the Board of Trustees, I’d like to begin by thanking you for attending our state of the student body. My part of this event is to deliver a state of the student senate. The Student senate is the legislative body of the Student Government Association. During the past year, I have seen a motivated student senate that has intensely considered and debated more than 80 pieces of legislation, nearly double the amount of legislation typically tackled during a semester. Legislation has involved sensitive subjects from the on-campus smoking policy, to instate-tuition levels, to relations between students and the City of Charleston Police Department, to upcoming legislation involving reform of the Student Government Association.
After years of patiently waiting, the Student Government Association is incredibly excited for the implementation of a new student email system. Before I came to the College, this was a major project taken on by students before me. Students have asked for a better, more reliable email system since before most of the students here today were even at the College. The implementation of the Google email system ensures a more reliable and cost effective email system. Soon, with help from our friends in Information Technology, the entire student body will be using the new email system as the current webmail system is phased out.
Also on the radar is the College’s Strategic Plan. While still in its early stages, the Strategic Plan very importantly alludes to a student-focused community at the College. This is a hallmark of the College that I hope continues. With the Strategic Plan we will also see the development of a new Facilities Master Plan. The new Master Plan will analyze the current campus and determine what the future College of Charleston campus will look like. It is absolutely imperative that the new Master Plan makes the co-curricular needs of the student body a priority. Classroom space is always important, but moving forward, the College must expand its housing options to ensure that students are able to live on campus and that there is adequate fitness space for all students. Fitness space is a major concern to students. I would challenge those serving on the Campus Space committee to include plans for a new fitness and wellness center of some kind in the forthcoming master plan as it will benefit the student body for years to come and is a sorely needed addition for the students.
Earlier in the year, the Student Government Association passed a resolution intended to encourage a higher level of school spirit on the road to create a culture of philanthropy. I feel as though there is much must still to reinforce and grow the campus community’s sense of Cougar Pride, but every little step counts. Those of you who know me know that I am one of the worst people to sit next to at a game. I am as loud and crazy as they come when it comes to our basketball games. I embarrassed our Public Relations Chair Haley Thomas at her first ever basketball game about a week ago. I’m looking forward to a big run this year and have my fingers crossed that we end up in the tournament this year (Cross fingers).
I feel like people are always asking me who I’m routing for in other games. Earlier in the year, someone asked me who I was routing for in the USC-Clemson football game and I told them simply that I wanted the College to win. They looked very confused, but I guess my answer didn’t make much sense to them. What I am trying to say is something fairly simple: support our athletic teams. That doesn’t mean only support our men’s basketball team. We must support all of our Cougar Student-Athletes, whether they are playing soccer, basketball, baseball, sailing, ultimate Frisbee, Rugby, Squash, lacrosse, or even our Quidditch Team.
Looking forward I see a College of Charleston that I am proud of. I am proud of our administration, students, faculty, and staff for making the College the way it is today. We must continue to move forward to create a College of Charleston that will be great for those that will come after us. We must not sit idly by. We must create a College of Charleston that will suite the educational needs of our students both inside and outside the classroom whether they are from South Carolina, California, or abroad. We as students at the College have the duty to continue our conversations with our administration, faculty, and staff to make sure that our College is the best it can possibly be.