Students want face to put with name

By Bessie King

Though university president-elect Joseph Aoun said his new tenure will begin with a “long listening period,” his agenda is pretty clear to Gina Edmunds.

“I have been here for three years and I don’t even know what President Freeland looks like,” said the senior nursing major. ” It would be nice that with this new president more events or visits are made with students so that at least we know his face.”

Aoun has been described as an aggressive fundraiser, and an academic programming whiz, but he comes to a university where visibility of administration has been limited, but admits he comes to Boston a relative novice.

“You have a teaching role with me, too – and I mean it,” he told a group of 20 students at a meeting Thursday afternoon.

Other students want a leader who will be approachable and even recognizable.

Jason Stackiewicz, who received much support from president Freeland after an accident at the 2004 Super Bowl riots that left him in a month-long coma, said the university’s new president will have to make sure he stays connected with student life.

“[Freeland] and the university were very supportive and willing to do anything that could help make the experience as pleasant as possible for me and my family,” said Stackiewicz, a senior criminal justice major. “It will be very hard for this new president to top that care we received but I do hope that he becomes involved with the student body and cares for them as individuals.

Former Student Government Association President Ashley Adams expected Aoun would probably have to pay attention to one area in particular.

“I think my only concern is that we are such a different university that we stand out from the crowd,” Adams said. “The co-op program is what sets us apart and what gives us our identity. I hope [Aoun] knows how important this is and maintains our identity at all times.”

Others believe Aoun’s fundraising experiences will be a good asset for the school and may increase student satisfaction with the university.

“I think it’s a positive move because Freeland’s plans were great but cost us a lot of money; this new president is a great fundraiser so he will help us get more funds,” said Boyan Kovavic, a senior international affairs major.

His prospects for encouraging diversity were also lauded.

“I am very excited he was elected and is coming to campus because he is a minority,” said George Kousaros, president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. “I am looking forward to his diverse background and open mind that will help increase the diversity on campus.”

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