Throughout the 2009-10 academic year, Students’ Association President Eric Weissmann and Vice President Brittany Crowley have set the bar for the next leaders of the campus community.
When Weissmann and Crowley ran for office last year, student communication and connectivity were prominent components of their platform. Both acknowledged that students were hardly aware of some of the issues that the SA was dealing with, especially with the failure of Town Hall meetings at the time. However, the two addressed the issue with the launch of ‘Rocky’s Report,” which highlighted a range of concerns and initiatives of the SA in a brief and convenient e-mail to the campus community.
One program that had a mixed response was ‘Experience Eastman.” It was mostly used by Residential Advisers and Class Councils, and its narrow appeal did little to achieve its overall goal to help bridge the gap between the Eastman School of Music and the River Campus. While groups ultimately did tap into this fund, this program has much room to improve. Instead of pushing River Campus students to go to Eastman, the focus can also include bringing the Eastman experience here for example, funding more Eastman concerts on campus. This way, the fund better achieves its goal, bridging the two campuses, by bringing Eastman to the River Campus as well as the reverse.
Another initiative started under Weissmann was the Fireside Chats. The meetings meant to replace Town Halls provided the opportunity for students to be engaged in SA affairs in a highly visible and open forum. Unfortunately, these meetings were sparsely attended and may not have been worth the cost. The next SA President should instead utilize Fireside Chats only in response to hot-button issues.
New programs are bound to encounter problems: These initiatives are valuable and should be continued. Overall, Weissmann’s enthusiasm, approachability and delegation of work made him an effective president for students. His ability to convey student concerns and work closely with administrators set a new tone for the SA presidency.