Rosen swears in Kirkland at State of the Union address
Published: Monday, May 21, 2012
Updated: Monday, May 21, 2012 12:05
Former Student Union President Herbie Rosen ’12 delivered his final State of the Union address as president on Thursday, May 3 in the International Lounge of the Usdan Student Center. During his thirty-minute speech, Rosen highlighted the Union’s successes and the areas in which it can improve. The one new piece of information in Rosen’s speech was that Einstein Bros. Bagels would open five hours earlier, at noon, on Sundays next semester.
Rosen highlighted three key areas he worked on during his presidency: transportation, dining and facilities.
In an effort by the Union to make transportation to Boston more convenient, the administration conducted trials of a weekend shuttle to the Riverside Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority stop. Rosen stated that the Union now believes that the best means of getting students to Riverside would be to include it as a stop on the Waltham Crystal Shuttle. Rosen and other Union members also lobbied against planned MBTA cuts to commuter rail service.
Rosen stated that improvements have been made to campus dining and that there is potential for more change. He lauded the new and longer service hours at Einstein’s on Sundays and at the Provisions on Demand Market on Saturdays. He called for more “real food” on campus and encouraged students to get involved in the upcoming Dining Services review, during which the University may decide to replace Aramark as its food services provider.
Rosen cited an array of improvements to facilities that began to take place this year. He applauded the opening of study spaces in academic buildings before and during finals but said that more space could be made available. Rosen said he hoped the planned renovations to East Quad bathrooms would happen this summer and highlighted the creation of the Union Senate’s Campus Operations Work Group, which will petition the administration for improvements to various campus facilities.
Additional successes over the past year cited by Rosen included the feedback given by over 500 students during the strategic planning process, the creation of a committee of students to advise on the University budget and tuition process and the restoration of the Pachanga dance next semester.
Rosen also trumpeted the Union’s co-sponsoring of some thirty events this academic year, including Hiatt Career Center events, barbeques and mixers, lectures by Christie Hefner ’74 and other businesspeople and academics, Earth Day and Food Day events, Midnight Buffets, a town hall meeting on hate crime and discrimination, a celebration of service, Health and Fitness week, the inaugural ’Deis Impact Festival of Social Justice and the reopening of the pool in the Joseph M. Linsey Sports Center.
Taking a critical lens to his work, Rosen brought up three areas in which the Union could improve: finance, accountability and operations.
In terms of finance, Rosen said that the marathon process for allocating funding to student clubs has to become more transparent and easier for students to engage in. He added that recently passed amendments to the Union Constitution will begin to alleviate this problem.
Rosen went on to say that Union officers have to fulfill the duties of their positions as outlined by the Union Constitution. The Union Judiciary also must improve in monitoring and reacting to constitutional issues, he said. Rosen added that the Student Representatives to the Board of Trustees need to be more responsible in keeping the student body informed of the Board’s activities.
Lastly, the Union needs to train its members better, Rosen stated, citing the lack of training he received when he was elected. To address this issue, he said he is writing a Union manual.
Critiquing himself, Rosen said that he often acted unilaterally and did not delegate responsibilities sufficiently.
Commenting on the tenure of University President Frederick Lawrence, Rosen said that he should remain “continuously engage[d] with the student body,” even once his “honeymoon” period is over. He added that Lawrence’s decision to live in Waltham instead of Newton next year was a positive step, and humorously encouraged students to trick-or-treat at his home.
Speaking about how he came to the position of Union President, Rosen told the audience of how he was waitlisted when applying to Brandeis and had to write a letter stating what he could accomplish if accepted to the University. “I had no idea that this would be that,” he exclaimed.
“The state of the Union is stronger than it was last year,” Rosen concluded. “And it will be stronger again next year. We are leaving the Student Union again in a better place than where we found it.”
Rosen finished his speech by welcoming incoming Student Union President Todd Kirkland ’13, who added that he too had been waitlisted when he applied. Rosen ceremonially swore in Kirkland, who then swore in newly-elected Union senators.
Rosen will participate in Teach for America in New York City next year.