September 6, 2006
Good morning! I'm Jo Jensen, president of the Student Government Association. First, I would like to again extend a warm welcome to the first-years. A welcome back to the sophomores and juniors. And to the seniors--I can't believe we have made it this far!
Convocation is the first time we get a chance to come together as a community, before all of the chaos of the school year begins. I'm excited for the adventures ahead of all of us. For the first-years it will be getting acquainted with the campus; for the sophomores it will be learning your new role as returning members to campus; and the juniors will learn to cope with a large percentage of their class studying abroad this semester and in the spring. Now, for the seniors, our new adventure and challenge will be cherishing the time left that we have as students at Mount Holyoke. As always, we have Mount Holyoke's outstanding faculty, staff, and administration to guide us on our journey this year.
You will be pleased to know that your Student Government Association is stronger and more visible than ever this year! One of our major goals is to bring the senate to students by listening and connecting with the community. This means that your SGA is extremely accessible and student friendly--so I strongly encourage you to come to us with your comments and concerns--we are here to help you and can work on improving our campus together! Next, we are going to nurture campuswide appreciation of student contributions. So what does that mean for you? It means that SGA is going to be at your events--we will be at sports games, theatre productions, art exhibits, and music and dance performances. Mount Holyoke has phenomenal student organizations, like our Class Boards, La Unidad, Model United Nations, Renegades, and the equestrian and rugby teams, just to name a few. I know that all of our campus orgs also have terrific events--but you need to do your part and let us know about them. Every student is welcome to attend our SGA senate meetings, and I encourage all of you to come to senate on Tuesday nights and publicize your events during the announcement section! Additionally, we are also working hard to condense, enhance, and refine internal SGA processes. Basically, we are open to change and are eager to try different approaches to make ourselves and policies more visible. Furthermore, SGA values our campus's diversity, and we will continue the initiatives set forth by the Diverse Community Commission--that's why SGA will play a stronger role in actively supporting awareness months.
On Sunday, I had to opportunity to welcome the first-years, and I gave them a bit of advice that I think is appropriate for the entire campus to hear. I told them that when heading into this year, they should approach academics, their classmates, student organizations, and life pursuits with an open mind. Regardless of our age and class year, we can always strive to be better and continue to expand our horizons. I also told them that I hoped that they would learn from their time here that failing isn't really failure--it's a learning process. I know that this lesson certainly took me a while but that Mount Holyoke has taught me that taking a risk, a chance at my dream, going after my goal is the best way to grow--and I stand before you today, not as the naive and shy first-year that I was--but as a confident, well-rounded Mount Holyoke woman. Let's have a fantastic year filled with adventures, fun, and new friends. And seniors--it's our last, so let's make this one really count! Thank you.
Listen to Jo Jensen's Speech (6.8MB.MP3)