The Magazine of the University of Minnesota Duluth

Volume 16 • Number 2 • Spring 1999


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Dan Bart - Student Association President

Thank you for the opportunity to reflect on the events of this past academic year and to project a vision for student government's future on this campus.

It has been a wonderful year for Student Association (SA) and much has been accomplished.   The year began with a new mission -- to be more visible and accessible to students. We created a new slogan, "Your Student Government Working for You," and conveyed the message through a new SA pamphlet, distributed from day one at our Freshmen Move-In Day tables along with information about the year's exciting Homecoming '98 activities. I have tried to live up to the SA message, using my personal motto "Attitude is Everything" as a guide.   

We were pleased to be involved with the success of Homecoming '98 and we hope that tradition continues and you come back to join us in the fun. SA was also a part of the UMD Carnival, a Campus-wide Clean Up, and a service that provided free bus service to the DECC for hockey games. We coordinated the Intercollegiate Food Drive which UMD won this year. SA was also involved with many other activities such as UMD Lobby Day, Duluth Days, University Senate meetings, and we coordinated events with Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, Kirby Program Board, and the Statesman.   During the year, regular meetings were scheduled to meet with administration, professors, and other various campus groups.

Throughout the year, I have faced many challenges. Some of the challenges are present every year and never seem to be resolved. Communicating information to such a large student body and trying to achieve student unity are tough problems to tackle.   We overcame communication barriers by setting up information tables in the Kirby Student Center. In spring, we were there every week just to be visible, listen to concerns, and present information. We sent e-mail messages to the UMD community; we posted internet and web information; and we kept up our relationships with other organizations.  

Three years ago, the student newspaper, the Statesman, published a parody issue and called it the "Stateschick." Student groups were outraged. Many people on both sides were offended. You may have even read about it in your local newspaper. As the campus groups made peace with each other, we became stronger and I am pleased to report that from my vantage point, student cooperation feels higher than ever.  

With better communication of information, and with the spirit building success of Homecoming '98, students were unified. We came together for sporting events and we wrestled with campus issues. The proposal to require lap-top computers for all students and the creation of a new transit hub to alleviate a parking shortage were two of the issues we dealt with. Incidentally, the lap-top computer proposal will be revisited in another form next year but the transit hub should be a reality by September 1999.

As the outgoing SA President, I wish the next president all the best. I would also like to leave a vision for the future.   I hope that the leadership on this campus continues to try and find a way to best unify the students' voice, its energy and enthusiasm.   I hope that the leadership   encourages participation, involvement, and continued volunteerism, and by considering the entire community, it does what's best for the students.   After all, we are here for education and the students should be the focus.

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