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Change is in the Air for Eastern

Mathew Biadun | Staff Writer

Spring is often known as the season of growth and rebirth, and this has come true for Eastern Connecticut State University. With the recent Spring election and changes to university leadership, the students and faculty heading Eastern are changing. Not to mention present and planned changes to the campus itself.

Last semester, President Nuñez announced that she’d be retiring as President of Eastern, in order to pursue a teaching position at Harvard. She initially became President in 2006. Her tenure has seen great changes in the campus. The FAIC and the Science Building were constructed during it, as well as renovations of several other buildings and residence halls.

The search for the new president has been mired in some controversy. Eastern staff originally complained that the first search committee had few Eastern representatives (2 out of the 7 total), and that the candidates would not be visiting the campus. While an advisory committee was created to give Eastern students and staff a chance to provide input, candidates never did visit Eastern. Nevertheless, the committee has narrowed down the field of candidates from over a hundred to just four, and will likely announce the next President by the end of the semester.

The next President will be an important figure for Eastern. They are the figurehead and prime representative of the school, as well as holding significant authority and influence over the administration and decision-making. Eastern presidents have historically also served long terms. President Nuñez was the sixth president since the office was created in 1937, meaning that presidents serve an average of 14.5 years. Whoever the committee selects, then, is likely to lead Eastern for the foreseeable future.

With the new President will also come changes to the administration’s management. James ‘Jim’ Haworth will be stepping down, having served as Vice President of Finance and Administration. Positions like this have a significant role over the financial status of Eastern. Amidst an environment of rising tuition and the struggles of public university, administrative leaders will have a decisive role in affecting Eastern students.

Another significant decider in Eastern’s destiny is the student government. The SGA, as well as the Senior Class Officers, held elections last week. The SGA has experienced a significant amount of turnover, but has also retained some experience.

Replacing Amani Jones as President of the SGA is Mia Sommers. Mia previously served as Chair of the Student Issues (‘Stissues’) Committee, just like Amani had previously. Serving as her Vice President will be Zachary Robinson, the previous Chair of the Budget and Management (‘BAM’) Committee. Replacing him as Chair of ‘Big BAM’ meanwhile, is Madison Dashnaw, a committed Senator and BAM member. Finally, Christopher Porter will continue as Treasurer, while Molly Hinrichs was elected as Secretary. Most of the Senators will be returning next semester.

As for the Senior Class Officers, a number of prominent students were elected. Felishka Ramirez, a political-science major who has previously traveled across the world as a member of the military. Her vice-president is Nikki Flynn, a coordinator at the CCE, Orientation Counselor and a leader at CAB. Michaela Ellis, another Poli-Sci student, had served as a legislative intern at the General Assembly and was elected as Secretary.

A number of changes are in progress and planned for Eastern going forward. Eastern Hall, the temporary building, has been demolished after 24 years. A green space will be created in its absence. During the summer the university plans to repave sidewalks, as well as redo the flooring of Burr, Noble and Low-Rise.


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