Good morning, Long Beach. It is an honor to speak in front of all of you at this year’s convocation. My name is Joseph Phillips, and I am the ASI President and representative of the multitude of students who attend this university. I am lucky enough to have been elected in the same year that we have received such a great leader to our campus, President Jane Close Conoley. What I must say to you all about her is that I am very thankful to have her in our highest office, because I know that she will stick up for my peers regardless of their background and cultureâ€”and honor our diversity on this campus.
Over the next year, the students at Long Beach State are looking forward to the continuance of shared governance in our campus institutions. As the students are the ultimate shareholders for whom we all work, it is incredibly important that they continue to have their voices heard in all major decision making at this university whether it is talks of re-branding our institution or as seemingly trivial as voting on matters related to faculty-student relationships. What we want from the campus community is mutual respect, and for the Associated Students to be seen as a symbiotic yet self-governing part of the University. We seek to innovate and change the world, and to make this campus our ideal.
It is fair to say that the Associated Students, or ASI, has never been better. Following our success in last year’s fee referendum, we have already began a great number of new and exciting projects that will enhance the lives of our students and help make them more marketable in a global job market. By the first day of school, we will have opened our 24 Hour Study Center which will be operational Monday to Friday. We are also nearing completion on our study abroad scholarships program which will help make this endeavor more affordable for the average student. Those are just two examples of the many great services that ASI is now able to provide to our campus community.
I have served ASI for three years now, and I am proud of our accomplishments and those yet to come. I also know that when my time is over and I graduate this spring, that my successor and the thousands that she or he represents will be in good hands with President Conoley and her vision for this campus.