Guest Column: Student body president pleased with Hogan

To the students of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

As we return to campus, or come here for the first time, we all can observe the many changes that have occurred and continue to take place. Much progress has been made on the Huff Hall addition, David Kinley Hall is undergoing a major renovation and Lincoln Hall continues to be closed but construction has started.

Those in University Housing have been excited to enjoy a meal in the new Ikenberry Dining Hall. I even got an environmentally-friendly motion sensor light switch in my office, and the list could go on.

Another change on campus this summer has been the change in leadership.

On July 1, Dr. Michael Hogan became President of the University of Illinois. We in the Illinois Student Senate were fortunate to have a conversation with him on Wednesday at our first meeting of the year. As a student, I was thrilled that the President of the University chose to attend a meeting of the student government on campus, and even more thrilled that he chose to do it at the first meeting since he became President. Since Dr. Hogan arrived on campus, he has expressed commitment to students on the University’s three campuses, and his attendance was a clear demonstration of that commitment.

During Dr. Hogan’s visit to the Illinois Student Senate, he discussed some of the opportunities and challenges facing our University. Unfortunately, lack of funding from the state continues to harm our University, and we took a significant drop in the latest US News & World Report college rankings.

Thus, this year will be one of great change, as we seek to strengthen our University amidst a bleak financial situation.

But I am proud to have leadership willing to make tough decisions to enhance our strategic position as a world-class university.

Still, Dr. Hogan committed to hearing the student voice as decisions are made, and we must exercise that voice to ensure student interests are represented. I look forward to continued student participation in decision-making as we guide the University of Illinois toward renewed excellence.

For all of our returning students, welcome back to campus, and to all the new students, welcome to Champaign-Urbana! I hope you are as excited as I am for this new semester. It promises both many great opportunities and many great challenges for all of us in the coming weeks.

Sincerely yours,

David S. Olsen,

student body president