I’ve finally started to catch up with the semester. The fourth week just finished, with a bang might I add, and I feel like it’s going to end so quickly, already. I’ve been very busy and very involved on a lot of what is happening on campus over the last few weeks. As the president of the Student Association, I have so many opportunities to interact with students, faculty, staff, and community members at a number of events on and off campus. From groundbreaking ceremonies to concerts and dinners, every day has been filled with such amazing privileges for me.
Last Friday, I had the opportunity to attend my first College Council meeting of the year. I was a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure what to expect or what to do. The day started with a formal lunch in the Sheldon Hall Ballroom. In attendance were President Stanley, vice presidents, deans, politicians, members of the college’s engineering advisory committee, and College Council members, and me. I’ve been to lunches and dinners on campus before, and have had some of these people in attendance, but for some reason I was very nervous this time. I got to the lunch a few minutes late, because I was so nervous about it and the other responsibilities I had that day. When I arrived I was greeted by Ellen McCloskey, President Stanley’s assistant, who was able to calm me down just by talking to me. I proceeded to get lunch, which was on a very nicely decorated buffet table, where there was an assortment of salad ingredients, such as different types of greens, vegetables, shrimp, etc. At first, I was not aware that the lunch was just soup and salad, so while trying to be courteous and not pile food onto my plate, I took very little. As I got toward the end of the table I realized that the salad was the main part of the meal, so I quickly went back and took some more. I then took a bowl of soup, which a catering staff member served out of the dish for me, and went to a table. Finding a table – this was yet another difficult situation for me, because I was not sure where to sit – were there assigned seats? Ellen kindly told me to sit anywhere I’d like and so I chose a table where I knew only a couple people. I sat with some members of University Development and faculty members. To my right was Susan Camp, who I had not realized I had met before. The conversation ranged from my schedule for the semester, the construction that has begun on campus, and the financial state of the college and New York. Some I was able to participate in, and others I just sat, listened, and learned some things about what was going on around me. As lunch finished, members of the college’s engineering advisory board left to go to a meeting and the members of College Council moved to the opposite side of the room for our meeting.
College Council was what I had imagined. It was just like any other committee that I sit on. There is a chair, secretary, and members siting around a large table, or tables. There were nine college council members present, including myself, President Stanley, VP Joe Grant, VP Nick Lyons, Assoc. VP Mary Canale, Dr. Camp, and Julie Blissert, from Public Affairs.
There were reports from Faculty Assembly, Student Association, and President Stanley. There was some discussion about the disappointment in SUNY for giving the top three administrators raises, when most institutions were facing possible furloughs. This was an almost exciting discussion, but a council member motioned to have the President’s Office draft the resolution, it was seconded, and that was that. There was some discussion regarding the Rice Creek updates, War of 1812 Commission (which I am not 100% sure what that is), and some encouragement to attend campus events.
I was able to give my report, which was pretty cool, because everyone was very interested. I addressed the Centro bus service on campus, civic engagement, voter registration, fall concert, ALANA events, etc. In fact, here is the blurb from the College Council website. I like how the recorder worded my report:
“Mr. DiMarzo introduced himself and reported that Centro bus passes for students are now entirely underwritten by the Student Association so that students may ride free anywhere; that the free fall concert outdoors near the Campus Center on Saturday attracted 1,200 people; that civic engagement is again an SA priority, focused so far on registering students to vote, either on campus or by absentee ballot, and on filling student vacancies on campus committees; that over 1,000 attended the Student Involvement Fair promoting student organizations; and that the ALANA conference would start the next week. Discussion covered student voting and the new polling place in the Campus Center as well as on Mr. DiMarzo: his major is human development with two minors, conflict management and business administration, and he plans to go into student affairs after graduate school.”
I have to say that it’s very exciting when someone of importance shows interest in my life and what my plans are for after Oswego. Knowing that I am making the right choices, and that others commend me for those choices, really adds some type of motivation to my days.
Later in the day, immediately following the College Council meeting, I was privileged with the opportunity to attend the groundbreaking for the Piez Hall renovations, formally known as the Science, Engineering, and Innovations Corridor. The ceremony consisted of student research displays along with cookies and beverages, followed by remarks from many key players in the planning and financing of the new complex. Senator Darrel Aubertine, former senator James Wright, J. Mitchell Fields of the Construction Fund, William Shannon of the Upstate NY Laborers’ Business Council, David Smith of the college’s Engineering Advisory Board, and ME! It was intense, being part of such an important day; I’d never imagine being someone who could speak on behalf of all of the students at such a wonderful event. Here is a link to my remarks from this ceremony, if anyone is interested.
Following this event was another ceremony! This time I got to ride in a GEM! I love these things! See one here! I drive these as often as possible, mostly during Alumni Reunion Weekend, which is going to be a HUGE celebration this coming summer. It’s one of the final events for the Sesquicentennial Celebration on campus. Anyway, at the second ceremony, we celebrated the dedication and completion of the Village Townhouse Complex. This ceremony also consisted of remarks from important people in the planning and construction process. Some present were, President Stanley, VP Joe Grant, Steven Curro of the Dormitory Authority of New York, Edward McGraw of Ashley McGraw Architects, Andrew Hueber of Heuber-Breuer Construction Co, and of course me, again! This ceremony also included a tree planting in honor of the completion of the Village. Here are my remarks from this ceremony, again – if anyone is interested.
There is so much more to come. My days are filled with excitement, craziness, and satisfaction. I hope you all are ready for the ride, because it’s going to be a roller coaster from here on out!