Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Student Senate president to lead SMU

By Connie Budin
Cardinal Staff

Student Senate President Bob Rousseau has new and bright ideas for the students of Saint Mary’s University.

Rousseau has compiled an impressive list of credentials leading to his role as Senate president. His experience with leadership began in high school at Cretin Derham Hall High School in Saint Paul, Minn., where he served on its Student Senate’s activities committee his junior year and student life committee his senior year. He was also band president.

As a sophomore at SMU, Rousseau acted as the Senate representative for Gilmore Creek Hall. His junior year, he was a member of Senate’s executive board as vice president of student life, a roll in which he worked with Chartwells Campus Dining and SMU’s Vice President for Student Development Chris Kendall on student issues.

This year, Rousseau was elected as the first male Senate president SMU has seen in four years.

“I’ve never wanted anything more in my life,” said Rousseau.

Duties as president include running Senate meetings and serving as a liaison between the students and administration. Rousseau said he is excited to make an impact on campus and help students.

One way Rousseau plans to impact the university is to create more connections with Senate. He said people often feel that Senate is intimidating, but he plans to change this perception.

Through the involvement of senators and executive board members attending the meetings of clubs and organizations around campus, Rousseau hopes to create a connection that will generate a positive atmosphere between the two parties.

“I want to let them know we care and are present and available for them to contact,” said Rousseau.

Other changes Rousseau plans to implement include volunteer work throughout the Winona community and a food committee with Chartwells.

“We’re going to try to go back towards being a more eco-friendly campus,” said Rousseau. He said this idea has great potential to draw more student involvement on campus and come up with constructive solutions for problems.

Rousseau emphasized that students are more than welcome to attend Senate meetings Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. in Salvi Lecture Hall, located in Saint Mary’s Hall.

He also encouraged students to become involved as additional hall representatives or class officers.

“As long as we are working towards something and having a conversation, I’m for it,” said Rousseau.

Though the role as Senate president is challenging and a great responsibility,
Rousseau said he is enthusiastic and excited about this year at SMU.

“I care about this place and connect with people around campus,” he said. “I want to make it the best it can be, and that comes down to caring and having the ambition to follow the dreams you have for it.”

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