Both the University and ASG President reflect on past year
The Santa Clara
February 15, 2018
President Michael Engh, S.J. made remarks on the condition of Santa Clara at the State of the University on Tuesday.
Following a greeting by emcee Provost Dennis Jacobs, Student Body President Jack Herstam introduced Engh and had some comments of his own to share.
“Things are heating up at Santa Clara, and I’m not just talking about the weather,” Herstam said.
To the audience in Mayer Theater, Engh mentioned Father Greg Boyle’s newest book, “Barking to the Choir,” and the insights people in the Santa Clara community can learn from it.
“How well do we at Santa Clara respond to the burdens that others carry, from their background, from their race, from their gender?” Engh asked in response to a quotation from Boyle.
Through various surveys and reflection, Engh has decided to take some actions, including coordinating and centralizing event planning on campus, evaluating the use of technical services and changing the culture and the expectation of the purchasing process.
He also plans to review the summer orientation, questioning if the current system is the best way to orient students to the university.
Examining and expanding the use of facilities over the summer for existing and new academic programs, as well as incentivizing all programs by changing the financial resource models that the university currently has are also on his list.
Engh gave recognition to the new vice president for finance administration, Mike Crowley, who is associated with the Oakland A’s and the San Jose Earthquakes.
Another attendee who was recognized was current Frank Sinatra Chair of the Performing Arts W. Kamau Bell.
Herstam spoke of efforts to encourage school spirit for the Gonzaga basketball game. A spirit cart outfitted with speakers sold tickets to students passing by on the Friday prior to the game and a live bronco pony led a procession to the Leavey Center.
“Like the bronco statue outside the library, no one was allowed to ride the bronco, but that does not mean people didn’t try,” Herstam said.
Herstam mentioned an increase in funding that was granted to Associated Student Government (ASG) this academic year. ASG was given $87,000 to help fund student clubs and have thus far granted over $30,000.
A new ad-hoc committee called “Bridging the Gap” was created this year, chaired by two senators of different political backgrounds.
Herstam spoke highly of the student efforts within chartered student organizations such as The Santa Clara, the Multicultural Center, the Santa Clara Community Action Program, and Into the Wild.
Engh mentioned the importance of the Campus Climate Survey. The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, Feb. 23.
The Board of Trustees approved next year’s budget to include a three percent merit pool increase for all faculty and staff.
They also approved equity adjustments in salaries, funding for promotions and the first phase along the way for adjustments for staff compensation.
Engh recognized numerous staff and faculty across the college and schools, although he regretted not being able to recognize all that he had been positively alerted about.
He commended the Chamber Singers, who opened the address, with their song choice of “Steal Away,” an African-American spiritual about giving one’s devotion to Jesus.
Engh closed with remarks on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his message of nonviolence, as well as the university’s observance of February as Black History Month.
A video of Bell conversing with theater professor Aldo Billingslea on MLK’s message was featured at the conclusion of Engh’s speech. The two discussed the importance of not being provoked by others.
“As Dr. King challenged, let us win over opponents and let us work towards befriending them,” Engh said. “Let us see with new eyes that we’re all kin, related to each other, moved by compassion and understanding our kinship. Let us remember that every person we encounter deserves our awe and our respect, our attentive listening.”
“I think as Broncos, this is our duty, this is our calling, this is the mission of the university,” Engh said.
Contact Meghan McLaughlin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.