The Associated Students (A.S.) senate inauguration set an optimistic tone, despite the overwhelming challenges students, faculty and administration face.
“In the final analysis, what it is about is people coming together to create a new reality and new future,” said Dr. Terry Piper, vice president for Student Affairs.
For Piper, this is a time where leadership, within administration and the student government, have the opportunity to make decisions that will change the university and bring hope to students.
“Watch for the opportunities. Take the opportunities to shape the future of this institution,” he said. “You, more than any group in recent times, have an opportunity to do that and that’s exciting. If we think about it as an opportunity, as opposed to an obstacle this year.”
A.S. President Abel Pacheco and Vice President Conor Lansdale were sworn in yesterday in the University Student Union (USU) Grand Salon along with Pacheco’s 10-member cabinet.
Pacheco said he is privileged to be representing the students of this campus.
“To be standing in front of you today is the biggest achievement and honor in my life thus far, because my journey has been long and hard,” said Pacheco.
As many students have struggled through the highs and lows of being a student, this year’s A.S. president has a history of achieving success after going through failure first. He recalled having a GPA of 1.92 in high school and drew the stark contrast to his recent appearance on the dean’s list.
“Were it not for the program that changed the course of my life and gave me a second chance at college, I would not be here today,” said Pacheco, referring to the Educational Opportunity Program.
Pacheco realizes the challenges that lay ahead but he encourages students to be hopeful about this year’s potential for success.
“We as student leaders must remain with a certain level of optimism while facing these opportunities,” Pacheco said.
President Jolene Koester was also present at the inauguration. She looked into a bright future and asked students to support Pacheco and Lansdale on achieving the university’s mission.
“This is a very important time for leadership in the university,” said Koester.
“Let’s focus on students, let’s focus on academic quality and lets make sure that we do it with civility and intelligence. Because we need to model for the rest of the world how difficult times and difficult decisions can be made.”