Potential. Potential is the one word that encapsulates Northern Illinois University in 2014. As the President of the Student Association, I see a number of major changes coming our way. I am excited about the Bold Futures Workshops put together by Dr. Baker and his team. But the future of our campus depends not only on the administration but on the effort and attitude of the student body. This is the year we make positive changes for our students and alumni.
Making these changes will be difficult at times and our issues are abundant. For the past several years, we have been facing a decline in enrollment while experiencing an increase in student fees. Additionally, our students are not as engaged in their academics or outside organizations as they should be. Further, our students do not feel as safe as they could on and near campus. Alumni, current students, and prospective students notice these problems which leads them to disengage from the university. This only makes the problems more severe since we need support. But these issues are not unmanageable or impossible to solve. I am confident our students can take a step in the right direction.
It is my vision to have all students set on the path to success. Not every student will take the same path. Some will be great athletes, others great students, or possibly both. The programs, services and extracurricular activities provided for our students will be helpful and leave a significant, positive impact on their lives. Guiding our students to find their path to success is at the forefront of my attention.
That vision, which aligns with President Baker’s student-career-success, is rooted in the student body. At the heart of the student body, is the Student Association. An effective Student Association leads to an impressive student experience. This is why I take my leadership of the SA with honor. Together with my administration we will advance towards this vision. Raquel Chavez our Vice President, Husam Salem our Treasurer, Paul Julion our Student Trustee, and Chad Harris our Chief of Staff are some of the most outstanding individuals on our campus today and I am proud to be serving with them. My team and I are currently mapping out how we will face the issues I brought up earlier. We don’t have all the answers but we will sincerely do everything in our power to solve problems creatively.
This is a great moment to be a leader at NIU because of one thing: potential. The potential our university has to improve, innovate, and excel inside and out of the classroom leaves me optimistic. It won’t be easy though. There are plenty of obstacles we will face and problems we cannot avoid. But if we stick to our plans, we will succeed.
Let’s have a great year!
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