Duo hopeful for future

Ashley Wulf

Ashley Wulf

With their Students’ Association tenure ending March 16, president Chris Daugaard and vice president Eric Hanson are looking back at successes and failures and considering things they would still like to accomplish.

Daugaard and Hanson were sworn into office March 10, 2008, and officially took over March 17, 2008.

“We had a great year,” said Daugaard. “We couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to work with, both our Executive Board and the Senate.”

During their first week, outgoing president and vice president Alex Brown and Chris Schaefer, respectively, gave their successors some advice that has stuck all year.

“Our predecessors were great mentors, and they really developed the people around them,” Daugaard said. “They stressed the importance of valuing those around you, while making sure that you have time for yourself, as well. They said that representing a group like the SDSU student body was the best job in the world, and they definitely spoke the truth.”

Their biggest accomplishment, according to the pair, is the creation of the bike lanes project, which will expand the bike lanes to off-campus in an effort to help traffic flow. They also helped start a petition before the Board of Regents decided to defer mandatory laptops.

Along with off-campus organizations, Daugaard and Hanson have worked with on-campus entities to make students’ lives better.

“We’ve continued to work with the internship coordinator, the Career Service Center and the Innovation Campus to coordinate efforts,” Hanson said. “We’ve worked with university administration to help plan our campus’s future in areas of campus beautification, transportation and parking.”

Apart from their successes, Daugaard and Hanson do have disappointments from their year of service. Their biggest regret is “not seeing a new SDSU Web site before leaving office, as many Web-based student tools hinged on SDSU’s ability to make the Web an effective medium,” the SA president said.

Even though the outgoing administration gave them sound advice, both Daugaard and Hanson said it was a struggle to keep up with schoolwork and SA work.

“It’s so easy to get sucked-in, to be involved in SA work and forget about schoolwork and time for yourself,” said Hanson.

Another difficult part of the job is serving a body so diverse as SDSU. Not only are the students themselves diverse, but “the university as a whole serves many constituencies, all with their own priorities,” Daugaard said.

With the variety and rigor of SA positions, the two emphasized that SDSU’s student government body operates much differently from a high school student council.

“Sure, we allocate student fees and we sit on university committees, but we also spend much time working with the city council, the Board of Regents, the Legislature and leaders from other universities to collaborate and work on our system, university and community,” Hanson said. “It’s pretty diverse work.”

With a little over a month left in office, Daugaard and Hanson show no signs of slowing down. “We’re working with the city to broaden the scope of their Web presence in regards to off-campus housing and improve the information available to student renters, including information about who to contact if they have problems [or other general questions],” said Daugaard.

The two would also like to pass an ordinance changing SA presidential and vice presidential nominating procedure. They want the candidates to circulate petitions amongst the student body.

Daugaard and Hanson want their successors to understand that the job cannot be done alone and that it is important to surround themselves with a positive group of people.

“Without an engaged, involved senate, your work means very little,” Daugaard said, “but the group of people representing SDSU students is a powerful group and can achieve much.”

Looking back on the last year, Daugaard and Hanson are both sad to leave but anticipate great things for the future.

“We will definitely miss working with the Students’ Association,” Hanson said, “but surely those to come will accomplish much to take our university places it’s never been.”