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Schmidt gives final address

Scott Englert | Friday, March 19, 2010

Student body president Grant Schmidt reflected on his term as president and gave advice for the future administration in his final State of the Student Union address, delivered at the Student Senate meeting Thursday.

Schmidt said he worked to make student government more accessible and more in tune to the student body’s needs.

“Since the beginning of the year, [we] have focused on making student government the go-to group of students when our fellow students or our administration has a question, an idea or a concern,” Schmidt said. “We have pushed to make sure that students are consulted before big decisions are made.”

In addition to serving the needs of the student body, Schmidt also emphasized the work that student government has done in cooperation with the administration. The administration is essential in making the University what it is today, Schmidt said.

“This University would not be where it is today without the leadership of … the numerous administrators who work tirelessly on a day-to-day basis,” Schmidt said.

But Schmidt said there is often a right and wrong way to work with the administration.  He said he hopes next year’s student government will continue to operate in the correct manner.

“Many student governments across the country play the ‘us against the man’ card.  We don’t do that here at Notre Dame, and I would advise any other future student government leaders to shy away from this approach as well,” Schmidt said. “We have conversations, negotiations, compromises, a sense of understanding.”  

It has been through this approach that the student body has created “tangible results,” Schmidt said. But the process was not easy, he said.

“Trust me when I say I have pushed some buttons … Transpo did not come easily. Our pressure with the pep rallies did not come easily. The pressure regarding textbook prices did not come easily, along with the support of the gay and lesbian students,” Schmidt said.

Despite all of these accomplishments, Schmidt said his administration still has work left to do before its tenure ends April 1.

“Currently, we are finishing up our recommendations for the revisions to du Lac. These are extremely important as they will affect students on a day-to-day basis,” Schmidt said.

After thanking the members of his administration, Schmidt offered his advice to student body president-elect Catherine Soler and student body vice president-elect Andrew Bell.

“Pursue what you know is right. You’re the role models for the University,” Schmidt said. “Don’t hold back … Do something starting on April 1, 2010 until March 31, 2011.”

In a final reflection, Schmidt spoke to the Student Senate about his time as student body president.
“Like I said before, this job has been easy and a pleasure because of you. Thank you for what you do. Thank you for making this a fun experience,” he said. “Thank you for making Notre Dame one heck of a place to be for four years. Go Irish.”