President feasts on student opinion at luncheons

Though incoming freshman Jessica Myklegard has not yet started herclasses at USF, she had the opportunity to dine with the university’spresident, student body president and vice president.

Myklegard was randomly selected at orientation to attend a luncheon June11 with President Judy Genshaft, student body president Mike Griffin andvice president Dave Mincberg. Myklegard said she is anxious for thefall semester to begin her first year at USF.

“I want to get so involved with everything. I hope in a couple of years,I am sitting where Mike and Dave are,” Myklegard said.

Griffin and Mincberg told students at the luncheon that they wanted theluncheon to be an opportunity for the students to meet with them as wellas President Genshaft.

“It serves the purpose for students to have access to PresidentGenshaft,” Griffin said.

The student luncheons began last year with then-student body presidentTyvi Small and vice president Tara Klimek as a time for students to meetwith President Genshaft and their student body president and vicepresident.

Griffin and Mincberg agreed to continue the luncheons once a monthduring the summer and throughout the upcoming school year. According toGriffin, the luncheon is a time for students to meet with their studentbody president and vice president in a casual way to discuss thestudents? thoughts about the university.

According to Griffin, this month?s luncheon was geared towardorientation students, while past luncheons have held other themes.”It was a great opportunity, and I received positive feedback from thestudents,” Griffin said.

During the recent luncheon, President Genshaft introduced herself to thestudents and their parents, explaining that the luncheon was just a timeto relax, meet new people and eat together. Genshaft said she likes toattend monthly luncheons to hear what students are thinking about theuniversity.

“I like to get out and about to see people and be available to them,”Genshaft said. “I can?t make changes if I don?t know what?s wrong.”

President Genshaft expressed her thoughts about her first year at theuniversity to the students and parents at the luncheon. Genshaft saidthat the student body has become more involved, and that the universityis growing in every way because of that.

“The more students are involved, the happier they are,” Genshaft said.Griffin told the new students how important it is for students to getinvolved while they are in college.

“There’s so much to do here, and anyone can get involved,” Griffin said. “The opportunities are here, but you have to get out there and findthem.”

Griffin told students they could even start their own organization atthe university.

All students need is an idea, nine other students with the sameinterests and a constitution for the organization, Griffin said.

“If we don?t have it, then start it,” Griffin said.

Griffin and Mincberg assured students that they are welcome to go totheir office or call if they have problems with registration or if theyjust want to get information about organizations at the university.Mincberg recommended that students get involved early in their collegecareer.

“The things I have learned from joining organizations have been a bigpart of my education,” Mincberg said. “Get involved, it’s definitelyworth it.”

Genshaft compared students’ first time at college to going to a foreigncountry because, like a foreign country, college has different customs. Genshaft said everything is so new to them that students try to find acomfortable place at the university just as they would in anothercountry.

“Having a friendly environment makes things so much better,” Genshaftsaid.

“I haven?t heard students’ experiences as happy as the ones I have heardat USF ? that is what keeps us growing.”

Genshaft said the difference between college and high school is that incollege, time management is the student’s responsibility.

“The more you are involved, the more you learn your limits, but we arehappy being busy,” Genshaft said.