Former College of Business student senator Jon Lipp swore in as the new Congress of Student Organizations NDSU student government executive with the rest of the student government executive team Sunday night.
It should help having former CSO executive and now student body vice president Hilary Haugeberg just down the hall.
After former NDSU student government officers held their last meeting of the year, student body president Sarah Russell, Haugeberg and the rest of the 2014-2015 student government swore in to take their seats for the new year.
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Russell said after being elected in April, it felt good to finally step into the new role officially. Russell and Haugeberg both said they were nervous to be sworn in, but they are becoming more comfortable as more time goes on.
“It’s awesome,” Russell said. “It’s kind of felt official for the last two weeks. During this transition period, we’ve just tried to hit the ground running. We’re just trying to get everything in place so we can get ready to go.”
Next school year’s executive team consists of former student government members who gained experience through their former roles.
However, there is only one executive team member, other than Russell and Haugeberg, coming back from the 2013-2014 year. Russell said she isn’t worried about the group, which was hired from a field of about 40 students who applied.
“We had a very competitive pool of applicants,” Russell said. “Some hard decisions were made, but looking at it from the team perspective, all of the individuals chosen are going to work so well together for the university.”
Haugeberg said she was excited to see where the group takes their new roles. She said she hopes they not only fulfill their current responsibilities, but also take things past their required job responsibilities.
“When Sarah and I were looking at which individuals to hire for the executive team, it came down to collaboration, compatibility and personality in addition to the experience they would have coming in” Haugeberg said. “It’s going to be phenomenal.”
Communication and collaboration, Haugeberg said, is a major goal that the executive team hopes to meet at the beginning of their term. She said this can come in handy when different members need help for different projects.
“We all have our own areas of focus, but we work together as a team,” Haugeberg said.
Finding a line between youth and experience, Russell said, is key for finding a good student government executive team and student senate.
“It’s about trying to find a balance between having experience in student government and being able to bring in a new perspective,” Russell said. “We’re really looking at both sides of so we have a balanced team in that way.”
Russell said this concept applies to the newly elected student senate. There are many senators who are returning to their roles next year, but there are also 10 senator positions open for the fall.
Russell said these openings will give incoming freshman a chance to be involved with student government.
Lipp said his experience with student government will be important for his time next year.
“For this role, it is very important,” Lipp said. “It helps that most of us have worked together in the past, whether it be through commissions or senate. We’re going in with a good working relationship.”
Lipp, who was on the CSO commision for the past two years, said his familiarity with the committee and the position gives him a chance to focus on long-term goals rather than getting used to the job.
“I’m so lucky that Hilary is vice president, because past CSO executives have been available to this position,” Lipp said. “It’s reassuring to know that someone who held that position and did it well will be around at all times.”
Russell and Haugeberg hope to have over half of their platforms points started by the time the fall semester starts.
The team also hopes to pick up a few projects outgoing student body president Robbie Lauf and vice president Erik Diederich began during their terms such as faculty-student luncheons and a sustainable model for Spring Blast.
“We want to make sure that our student senators have a say in how those points are implemented as well as any other projects that they want to start,” Russell said. “This fall, we will be working on developing our senate so that they can start projects of their own.”
While Russell admitted there is no way to be completely prepared for her new job, she said she is looking forward to the challenges her new job and the new school year will present.
“I’m definitely not comfortable, but there is no growth in comfort,” Russell said. “The biggest thing is that Hilary and I, as well as student government, bear the responsibility to students to represent them… I’m ready as I’ll ever be. We’re just excited.”