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California State University, Long Beach
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ASI President John Haberstroh

2013-2014 Convocation Speech

Good morning everyone!

I am very honored to speak this morning alongside such distinguished people in the CSULB community. I would like to begin with a brief comment on Shared Governance. It is a great privilege that we the students attend a university that is ardently committed to the principles of Shared Governance. Students are the reason why this institution exists, and it is essential that the voices of students be heard in decisions that affect their experience at CSULB. With a student population of nearly 36,000, the CSULB student body surpasses the populations of Los Alamitos and Seal Beach combined. In the wake of Prop. 30, it is clear that the students of CSULB, as well as the entire CSU system, are a force to be reckoned with. We the students, too, are committed to the Shared Governance of the campus, and look forward to the coming academic year.

The Associated Students exists to serve the needs and desires of students through the operation of our facilities, the utilization of our services, and participation in our programs. The Associated Students offers a variety of opportunities for students to become engaged within the campus community. While the in-class academic lives of students takes precedent in the university context, the out-of-class experience is invaluable to the formation of well-rounded individuals who know the responsibilities of being informed, world citizens. It is the duty of the Associated Students to spread awareness of all the facilities, services, and programs which we provide. As elected and appointed officers of the students, we have an ethical imperative to serve and represent the students with urgency, professionalism, and respect. Over the past year, ASI has enacted some reforms to improve the efficiency, productivity, and transparency of student government. This past Wednesday, we unveiled what we call “The New Standard” to our officers at our summer retreat – that is, a “New Standard” of accountability, communication, and values for student government. With this “New Standard,” we hope to increase student involvement through the reinvigoration of student leaders who will seek a “bottom up” approach in the representation of students. And I’d like to take this moment to publically recognize and thank President Para and the Vice Presidents for joining us on our retreat this past week to connect with our student-leaders. A good time was had by all, and important personal working relationships have been established. We thank you for your continued support of students! Over the past year, ASI has been moving away from being a self-serving clique, loyal unto itself, and now with the reforms of last year and this new vision, ASI will continue striving to actively seek the opinions, concerns, and participation of all CSULB students. [I would like to ask that the elected and appointed officers within ASI stand and be recognized at this time for their commitment to the service of students.]

This academic year is one of change. Change is often a mixed bag; one full of surprises and uncertainties. Change, like most things, is the product of choices. Some choices we make and some choices are made for us. Either way, change is upon us here at CSULB. It is essential that we embrace this change and not fight it so as to create disharmony. While it is true that in the past few months, two major pillars of leadership for the University, F. King Alexander and Douglas Robinson, have left, on good terms I might add, CSULB remains in confident and capable hands. As is famously noted, “an object in motion tends to stay in motion,” and “an object at rest tends to stay at rest.” Well, CSULB is certainly not an institution that has any plan of resting on its laurels. In the recent past, CSULB has made great strides in the advancement of its academic programs, some of which are among the “best in the west.” CSULB is also a fine example of how diversity and academia go hand-in-hand. CSULB is one of the most highly sought universities in the nation, and that is for a good reason: Because “We’re The Beach.” Thank you so much everyone and I wish you all the best in the coming year. GO BEACH!