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Ushering in a second year

With USF president Judy Genshaft, Board of Trustees members, local government officals and students looking on, Mike Griffin and Dave Mincberg were inaugurated May 3 into their second term as student body president and vice president.
The pair was re-elected April 4, receiving 1,250 of 1,679 votes en route to defeating challengers Joe Nirenberg and Lakia Stewart.
Griffin expressed his gratitude to his supporters during his inaugural address.
“I will continue to do my most to be deserving of your trust,” Griffin said. “The solemn oath I swore before you is one that I hold sacred and one that I am committed to upholding.”
Griffin said he feels that his administration accomplished its goals of furthering student life at USF. He said, while he is satisfied with his first year in office, he looks forward to another year of pursuing student interests.
“There are many more mountains yet to climb,” he said. “We will not rest until every student enjoys the fullness of what a true traditional university experience should be.”
Griffin said he is confident that his administration has kept up with a rapidly changing education system, and that he has made sure no student at USF has been left behind. Griffin said he hopes to maintain a high level of progressive thinking during his second term.
“As we embark upon another year, we must send a strong message to everyone in the university; we will not back down to anybody in order to ensure the welfare and success of this student body,” Griffin said.
While Griffin took stock of his first year in office and shared his desires for the next year, Mincberg’s vice-presidential address described the emotional changes he underwent during his first term. He told the audience of about 100 students and dignitaries that the defining moment for him personally and in his office came on Sept. 11.
“When Mike and I were up here last year, I don’t think we ever had any intention of doing this twice,” Mincberg said. “I think the event that really changed that way of thinking for us was Sept. 11.”Mincberg said at first he wasn’t sure what role he would play in his position at USF. He said, however, after the events of that day, his outlook changed completely.
“I knew the vice president and president got their own desks, and I thought it would be a neat way to meet girls,” he said. “But on this day, being vice president of this university just meant so much more. It meant that we were leaders, and it meant that we could do things that make a difference.”
Mincberg said he is thankful for the opportunity to improve student life at USF and hopes the second year will be memorable.”It has been a great year,” he said. “Mike and I will pledge to work as hard as we can every day.”
The first year of the Griffin/Mincberg administration saw several changes for student government. Most notably was the naming of the USF Board of Trustees last summer, on which the student body president serves and votes.
In attendance at the inauguration were BOT members Lee Arnold, Bob Sorans, Margarita Cancio, Rhea Law and Richard Beard. Beard said after the ceremony he was pleased at the news of Griffin’s re-election.
“(He’s) a tough, strong guy. He’s got the students totally in mind when he thinks of things,” Beard said. “He’s got the courage to stand up for what he believes.”
Beard said with the BOT still less than a year old, having a returning student government president will help.
“I think it’s important because he’s such a good leader,” he said. “I think having the experience will make him a more effective leader this year.”
Cancio echoed Beard’s comments, saying that she too is happy with the re-election.
“They have represented the students very well, and we’re happy to have them in the board with us,” she said. “I think they’re going to do wonderful things over the next year.”
In addition to BOT members, some Tampa and Hillsborough County officials and family members of Griffin and Mincberg were present.
Griffin’s father, Ward Griffin, serves as a circuit administrator for the Florida Department of Corrections. He said he felt his son was deserving.
“I’m very proud and very happy,” he said.
Mr. Griffin said he was happy that his son was re-elected but not really surprised.
“I’ve been around long enough to know anything can happen in politics,” he said. “I think he’s made himself accessible to voters and made his issues known.”

Contact Rob Brannon at