The Campus Times sat down for an interview with the current Students’ Association President and Vice President, seniors Eric Sansky and Tyler Socash, respectively, who begin their first full semester in office this fall. They spoke about upcoming events for the fall semester, new ideas they plan to implement over the course of the year and the status of various initiatives they discussed in their spring platform.
What would you like the class of 2012 to know about you?
Tyler: I’m from the Adirondack Mountains in a very rural town. I’m big into athletics and big into outdoors activities, like hiking. We’re both seniors. I’m pre-med and I enjoy a variety of activities on campus. I love playing intramural sports here. I’m a teaching assistant I TA Anatomy and Physiology for this coming year.
Eric: I’m also from upstate New York, from Binghamton. I’m going to probably go to law school next year, so we’ll see. I’m a poli-sci/English double major, so I spent the summer interning in Washington, D.C. I enjoy a lot here. I’m involved in the Delta Upsilon Fraternity, did Mock Trial and Class Council.
Tyler: We were also at one time both members of Class Council, which was a great experience. It was definitely a fun time.
Eric: Should we say that we came from the same hospital?
Tyler: Oh and I’m proud of this I’m a residential adviser in Susan B. We love talking and meeting with people, and freshmen can feel free to stop by whenever they want. I’m in Gates 2, so if you have any imperative issues you can come right over and talk to me.
What are your primary first-semester objectives?
Eric: I think our first and foremost objective the entire year is to really foster a policy of openness. We really want people to know that they can always approach us with an issue or a problem they’re having, that our door is always open.
Tyler: Really any question or concern they have about student life at the U of R, they can feel free to contact us by e-mail or in person, down in the Ruth Merrill Center it’s where our office is. It would be great to meet them all, if possible!
One issue you discussed in your platform was dining. How have you been working with Dining Services this summer?
Eric: We’ve had discussions with [Director of Dining Services and Auxiliary Operations] Cam Schauf since we’ve been back. I think that it would be hard to find a student that wouldn’t be excited after seeing the changes that Dining has made over the summer and it would be hard to find a student who wouldn’t be excited about what’s coming this year with the renovations to Danforth [Dining Center], the Pit and Douglass [Dining Center]. I think that change is in the air and everyone’s excited about it.
I think the most exciting initiative that we have in terms of what’s going to be on the plate in the first couple weeks at school is definitely ‘Fill Fauver.”
Talk about ‘Fill Fauver”!
Tyler: ‘Fill Fauver/Pack the Palestra” is an event where we hope to get as many students and faculty members here at the U of R to attend specific sponsored games throughout the year. It’s going to be one home game for every single varsity sport and we’re going to be advertising like crazy to get the word out that we want all students to attend. And the incentives to come are going to be that we’re handing out free giveaways free blue and yellow pom-poms for all the fans to cheer with. Every fan that shows a student ID card is going to receive a scratch-out card and with this scratch-out card comes the chance to win prizes from Coca-Cola to the bookstore, and for certain we have thousands of dollars already for prize giveaways.
So we’re very excited for the fans to come to these games everyone here at the U of R is welcome to come. It’s a very inclusive social event, not necessarily just an athletic event, so you can come with your whole entire hall, just to cheer and be a part of that Rochester atmosphere, get a little school pride going and show off your yellow fever.
The U of R is already world-renowned for its academics, and so now I believe it is time for the U of R to become more world-renowned for its school spirit and for its engagement with student life. That’s very important.
What can incoming freshmen look forward to for Yellowjacket Weekend, in terms of ‘Fill Fauver”?
Tyler: That’s the first one! We definitely are anticipating a huge turnout. It’s the men’s soccer game at 7 p.m. at Fauver Stadium. Admission is always free, always free. They’re going to get these giveaways, they’ll have the opportunity to win these prizes, and actually the University of Rochester bookstore will be there selling UR apparel, if they’re interested in purchasing UR gear shirts, sweatshirts.
Eric: I think the thing that they can look forward to is that it’s going to be an extremely fun atmosphere. I hope that they’re going to be able to look forward to a wild crowd.
Tyler: We’re trying to set it up so students can live the stereotypical college life and go out and cheer as they do at larger universities. So we want to bring that energy here to a Division III school where our teams are very competitive and very good. Whether it be that they always get to a championship or win the league, all our varsity sports do very well. So we just want the whole undergraduate community to be a part of that.
What events from last year’s [student] administration do you plan to keep active this year?
Eric: I think that the Students’ Association well, I know that the Students’ Association [for] the past three to four years has really come a very long way in its relationship with campus administration and different departments and services that provide for the students, and that enables us to have a very effective means of communication with the administration when there’s a problem. We need to continue facilitating those ties. We’re going to continue the Collegiate Readership Program, the wildly successful newspaper program that distributes free newspapers to students across campus five days a week.
I think another thing I’m extremely excited about [is that] over the past two years there’s been, obviously, in our entire society a lot of talk about sustainable practices, and since that has really started to hit the University of Rochester, we’re really excited about working with everything from installing a recycling coordinator for the campus to continuing the campus’s work on sustainable endeavors.
So in terms of what last year’s SA was bringing to campus…?
Tyler: Right, I was going to go along the lines of the new busing system. [Eric,] you were the projects and services chair so you can just start noting off everything you did.
Eric: OK. Well, everything from the busing and shuttle system there’s going to be Town Hall Meetings monthly that are going to allow students to hear directly from administration things that directly affect them on campus. I think the first one is on student rights, and it’s going to involve everything from drinking policies on campus to the illegal downloading of music and the RIAA restrictions. So there’s going to be a lot of opportunity for students in that aspect.
What are your ultimate goals for the year or the semester?
Eric: I want to see a successful ‘Fill Fauver” program over the course of the year and have it be a sustainable program and have that be the roots for a greater school spirit amongst the students. I want to have our administration [take] another very large step forward. I want, obviously, to fulfill the portions of our platform in a very satisfactory way. Those things would make me happy.
< br />Do you have any advice for the new class of 2012?
Tyler: I have great advice. My advice to incoming freshmen would be to go out to the Activities Fair during Yellowjacket Weekend. It’s from 3-4:40 p.m. on [Friday, Sept. 5]. Every club on campus is setting up [a table] at the Activities Fair there are over 200 of them, so they should be prepared, and [it’s] a wide variety, too. Don’t be afraid to join as many groups as possible because you can always leave groups throughout the year, but try and get involved outside of the academic realm here at UR because there’s so much that student life here offers that most people don’t realize.
Eric: I think the best advice I could give is, take a chance. If you’re on the ball about something, if something seems interesting, take a chance, and you never know what great things are going to happen from it.
Do you have anything else that freshmen might want to know?
Eric: Not to sound corny, but I think they have a great four years to look forward to here, and I think that they have a great first semester to look forward to.
Friedlander is a member of the class of 2010.