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September 21, 2023

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USG completes term, looks to quick transition following elections

Crediting a strong executive branch and “emerging” young leaders, several Undergraduate Student Government members applauded the governing body’s efforts this term in its final general meeting of the current administration Monday night. The body is now in its final week of the term.

“I couldn’t say more positive things about this administration … In my four years this is the strongest administration we’ve had,” said USG Speaker Melissa Dzienny. “We’ve seen a lot of issues we’ve had to tackle.”

USG President Alex Solis thanked the group’s members during his executive report.

“This meeting marks a lot of ends for a lot of great people and their service and it’s much appreciated,” he said to the general assembly.

USG Vice President David Neely also thanked the student government.

“Thank you all for your hard work this semester, last semester and hopefully we’ll see a lot of you here for next term as well,” he said.

Solis and Neely are running unopposed for re-election next term. Elections are underway and end Thursday at noon. Students can vote online at the University home page.

The results of the elections will be announced Friday at noon in the Falcons’ Nest. The new administration will then be sworn in Monday at 6 p.m. at the same location.

Following the swearing-in ceremony is an awards banquet at 7:30 p.m. in Union 201.

The transition between administrations will be quick, as the new members will have two meetings before semester’s end.

The first meeting of the new administration will be Monday, April 15 in the Union. During this meeting, the Senate will elect the new committee chairs, which includes academic affairs, auxiliary affairs, internal affairs and student affairs.

During the open forum of Monday night’s general assembly, Marcia Salazar-Valentine, executive director for the Division of Enrollment Management, presented enrollment updates for international students to the student government.

As the University is seeking to increase enrollment to 25,000 students, International Student Services is focused on increasing the number of international students as well, she said.

The University seeks to double the international students to 1,200 in the fall. The strategy is to focus the initiative on already well-represented international countries like China, Canada, Saudi Arabia and India, Salazar-Valentine said.

Andrew Alt, the director for new student orientation and first year programs in the Office of Student Retention, also spoke to USG about the orientation process, called SOAR (Student Orientation, Advising and Registration).

This included a summary of the goals, themes and schedule of the process. Incoming freshmen will meet with their advisor, interact with their orientation leaders, have lunch at Carillon Place and register for classes.

“All the University community is really involved in this process,” Alt said. “We look forward to that time in the summer.”

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