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USG Passes the Torch at Inauguration

USG Executive Board and Senate Members Take Their Official Oath of Office at the Annual Ceremony

ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 02:04

Photo by Stephen Moccia/The Ram

Newly-elected students are sworn in during a USG ceremony last week.

On April 19, students, faculty, administration and a few family members gathered in the McGinley Ballroom for the 2012-2013 United Student Government (USG) Inauguration Ceremony. Stephen Erdman, FCRH ’13, and Aileen Reynolds, FCRH ’14, were officially sworn in as the executive president and vice president, respectively.

“The ceremony served as the official induction of the new elected members of USG,” Reynolds said.

Unfortunately, Erdman was unable to attend the ceremony, since it was his last day of service in the Dominican Republic, but he will return on Saturday to take over his official duties as USG executive president.

The ceremony began when Fr. Philip Florio, S.J., led the group in an opening prayer. Angelo Labate, FCRH ’12, the outgoing vice president of operations, then took over conducting the ceremony.

Bryan Matis, GSB ’12, the outgoing executive vice president, performed the ceremonial “passing of the gavel” to his successor, Reynolds.

“My favorite part was probably Bryan handing me the gavel,” Reynolds said. “Just because it was a physical representation of the passing of power, and it was funny because he just handed it to me, and I was like, ‘I guess I’m taking this,’ but the physical representation was very real and made me that much more excited to get started.”

Caitlin Meyer, FCRH ’12, outgoing USG executive president, gave a brief speech, which included a reflection on her previous two terms on USG, both as the executive vice president and executive president. She also said how glad she was to leave USG in the hands of Erdman and Reynolds.

“[Meyer] expressed her confidence in us leading USG next year,” Reynolds said. “It was really encouraging to hear. We have big shoes to fill, but it was reassuring to hear that she thinks we’ll do a great job.”

All of the new members of USG’s executive board and senate then took the official oath of office, led by Christopher Rodgers, dean of students. Reynolds, on behalf of both Erdman and herself, gave the inauguration’s closing remarks.

“They had great food after, and my parents came,” Reynolds said, “so it was just a really nice ceremony.”

Reynolds and Erdman said they excited to begin their official term with their new members.

“The senate seats were really contested,” Reynolds said, “and then we had a few competitive e-board elections.”

Reynolds and Erdman are not worried that this competition will divide USG. In fact, they believe it will be an asset for their government.

“I don’t think it’ll be a problem,” Reynolds said. “I think it’ll be a good thing with all different parts of campus coming together on USG now, and especially because this past USG was a lot of continuation from the year before. We had a lot of e-board seniors who had been on it the year before, so this is a new bunch of people coming in. We see it as a great opportunity to bring everyone together.”

Erdman and Reynolds are excited to officially begin their term with the first meeting on April 26.

 “I’m so excited,” Reynolds said. “It’s overwhelming; you know, the amount of emails I already get every day. It’s crazy, but I’m excited to take it on. I’m ready. I feel like Stephen and I are prepared, and we have had great mentorship from Bryan and Caitlin.”

At their first meeting, Reynolds and Erdman’s goal is to get all the positions to know each other before diving into actual business.

“We’re going to do introductions, so just like making sure everyone gets to know each other,” Reynolds said. “You’re going to be working with them for the entire year, so you have to know names, know basic things about each other. We’re probably then going to go over how the meeting works, and then we already have people sending in initiatives, so there will be a few presentations and throwing ideas around.”

Erdman and Reynolds plan to continue their work with USG throughout the summer months away from Fordham.

“Stephen and I really want to emphasize to the Senate and the e-board that the summer isn’t a time to just hang out,” Reynolds said. “It’s actually a really good time to get stuff done, especially because you have more free time and the administration is still on campus. We’re going to encourage brain storming and teamwork to try and get things going over the summer, so we can be as productive as possible as soon as we come back in the fall.” 

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