Representing the students voice

When Mike Griffin and Dave Mincberg were elected last spring as Student Government student body president and vice president, Griffin walked into his office and saw that he had 10 voice messages on his answering machine. Eight of those messages were from state legislators letting him know the SG president would become a member of the Board of Trustees, and the other two were people calling to congratulate him.

“This year has definitely been everything I expected it would be and 10 times more,” Griffin said. ” I wasn’t really expecting to be on the BOT because everyone was saying it wouldn’t go through.”Griffin said the year has been full of surprising issues, but during those times he has learned a lot.

“Sept. 11 and the situation concerning Sami Al-Arian were all unexpected,” Griffin said. “I think that Dave and I grew a lot, and I have no regrets on how we handled them.”

Mincberg said this past year has been great, and the biggest project he thought that he had helped with was the Sept. 11 vigil for the students.

“Putting together the vigil was a way for Mike and I to step up as leaders in that type of situation,” Mincberg said. “We took a better role with USF.”

Griffin and Mincberg both said they feel that the communication between SG agencies has improved.

“I helped put together a retreat that would bring together the agencies,” Mincberg said. “Normally the cabinet does the retreat by itself, but it was one of the first things I did this year to improve the communication.”

Besides the hiring of new cabinet members and aiding them in their activities and projects, Mincberg said, he helped create some new positions, as well.

“We made a new position for communications services and a program director,” Mincberg said. ” I also made a resolution to have a SG liaison with the Faculty Senate to help with the communication, too.”

Griffin said making changes to the internal part of SG was a big accomplishment, along with crediting a lot of organizations and programs.

“We wanted to make the students know about USF,” Griffin said. “We are not here to market USF. Sometimes we’re criticized for doing that.”

Griffin also said one of the major goals he and Mincberg had for this year was to make USF a better university.

“We wanted to create the ultimate collegiate experience and a more traditional campus,” Griffin said.

With continuing to make USF a more traditional campus, Mincberg helped bring back Midnight Madness, which was an activity that was gone for three years.

“A lot of people thought something that was run and produced by students won’t work, but we ended up having 4,000 students there,” Mincberg said.

Griffin said one of his goals next year would be to double that number to 8,000. He also said he wants to continue the plan for the Marshall Center enhancement project.

“People may get upset because we are going to have to get creative for funding but we will make it happen,” Griffin said. ” I have a lot more fire for this year. I don’t want the students to think that they are not getting represented.

After being re-elected earlier in the month, Mincberg said he wants to continue everything that he and Griffin started this year. Their second inauguration ceremony will take place a week from today in the Marshall Center Ballroom at 3 p.m.

“The list goes on and on. But we want to make it better,” he said. “We have done so much to SG internally. We put together a community for SG members, non members and faculty. We also want to reorganize the campus radio.”

Mincberg said he felt his job this year was a job that required him to be on his toes.

“Thing with Mike and my job is that you can have your whole day planned, but then you could have a student walk into the office that has a problem and needs help,” Mincberg said. “That was one of our plans as well, a open door policy for everyone, and we are very proud of that.”

Griffin said that if he and Mincberg would have lost they still feel that they had done the job they were supposed to do.

“Whether we won or lost that election we would have left knowing that SG was better than we had found it,” he said.

Contact Stefanie Greenat