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Ribeau rallies for the new year

Despite warm temperatures, BGSU President Sidney Ribeau managed to make an impact on about 3,600 freshmen on the lawn in front of University Hall during the New Student Convocation yesterday.

Ribeau took an unorthodox route and introduced himself to the freshman class with a short interview from Bernard Little, president of the Undergraduate Student Government. Ribeau emphasized the transition into independence and adulthood the class is partaking in, reminding them that their experience in college depends on what they make of it. Little began the short interview by asking Ribeau of his most favorable aspect of the University.

“The students here are talkers,” Ribeau said, comparing the students here to others he has worked with in the past. “They are rational.”

He also remarked the “sincerity and genuineness” of the students on campus and noted the students’ ability to genuinely come together to discuss problems and present-day issues.

When they asked each other about their first experience as an undergraduate, both Ribeau, now in his 12th year at BG, and Little, shared the same anxieties and dilemmas.

“I had big hair,” Ribeau said, describing how he looked in 1965 as a freshman, before the audience chuckled.

He also described his mohair bell bottoms and Italian sweater to the amused crowd.

“I liked how laid back he was, and that he was to the point,” Amanda Hawkins said.

On a more serious note, Ribeau shared with the students how much of a traumatic experience beginning college was for him.

“I didn’t have BGeXperience,” he told the crowd.

Little answered to a similar question.

“I didn’t know anyone,” he said.

Both reminded each freshman to make the most of the experience. They described the rush of being in a new environment as almost overbearing, and told the class how they persevered to take advantage of their new roles.

“I think it was good for them to talk to us and tell us about their experiences,” India Hall said.

Students liked the personal approach Ribeau took.

“Instead of being the head of the school he was also a friend,” Detrich Burgess said.

Through smiles and common experience, the president proved not to be the stereotypical administrator.

“I thought he would be dull, but he was interesting,” Hawkins said.

Little concluded his interview with a quote from the song “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts and urged each student to be involved. Ribeau hoped for a bright future from the freshman, saying, “I hope you can soar.”

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