26 September 2012
Welcome to the 2012-2013 academic year! With the arrival of the undergraduates on campus, I send my personal greetings and best wishes for the year ahead. Each of you is a valued and respected member of the Santa Clara community, and we are here to support you as you learn and live to your full potential.
Ready to assist you are the student leaders present among you who give voice to concerns you may have. The Associated Student Government (ASG) is the elected representative body for undergraduate students promoting student concerns to the University community. The ASG president attends our Board of Trustees Student Life Committee meetings, and this year Jenna Saso will serve in that role. Graduate students are represented by the elected and appointed leaders in the respective school. Cassandra Francois will serve as the Law School representative on the Inclusive Excellence Student Advisory Council. The undergraduate student representative to the National Alumni Board of Directors will be Frankie Bastone. Kori Lennon has been appointed as the undergraduate representative on the Academic Affairs University Policy Committee, and Roxanne Roknian will represent graduate students on the Student Affairs University Policy Committee.
Also, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Robert Leupp to the University's Planning Action Council. Robert's appointment is in recognition of his leadership, dedication, and commitment to the Santa Clara Community. He has served as Chair of the Undergraduate Student Government Senate, as an Undergraduate Representative for the Student Affairs Policy Committee, and as a Junior Class Senator. I look forward to working with Robert and all the student leaders during this new academic year.
A hallmark of the Santa Clara experience is the opportunity to become involved, try new things and discover your passion. I encourage all new and returning students to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the eight Chartered Student Organizations, the 120+ clubs and events sponsored for you by the Activities Programming Board, Ruff Riders, Multicultural Center and the Residential Learning Communities Association. Each of these student-run groups offers leadership and activities throughout the year. Contact Joshua Farinha (APB), Ezana Tesfu (Ruff Riders), Michelle Tang (MCC), or Nishad Joshi (RLCA) to learn more about these opportunities. Graduate students may contact the Student Bar Association (Law) or the Dean's office of their respective school to learn more about opportunities for involvement.
In this election year, I want to remind you that deadlines for registering to vote are fast approaching. The California deadline is October 22, 2012. Since elections are run by states, cities and counties, the rules on registering to vote are not the same everywhere. If you are a permanent resident of another state you may choose to register to vote in that state. Additional information can be accessed at the following web sites:
I leave you with one final invitation. I invite you to join your classmates, along with our faculty and staff, as we celebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. in the Mission Church. The Mass of the Holy Spirit is a centuries-old tradition in Jesuit colleges and universities when we call on the Spirit of God to inspire all our works, activities and studies in the coming year. Recognizing the diversity of faiths in our community, I encourage members of all faith traditions to join us for this special Catholic liturgy. Immediately following the Mass, we will have a community lunch on the St. Ignatius Lawn between Kenna Hall and Walsh Administration Building. So that students can attend the community-wide celebration, classes will not meet between 11:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. on October 3. Classes that usually meet from 11:45 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. will be canceled. Classes scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. will instead begin at 1:15 p.m. Please note that classes in the School of Law and the Jesuit School of Theology will meet as scheduled and will not be canceled.
With your help and the help of our student leaders, we can set a tone of inclusion and respect that builds up the Santa Clara family, not just in numbers but in the kind of environment we cherish. Values like integrity, care for oneself and others, and respect for diverse people and ideas are values that we promote. I thank you for choosing to be a part of this community. You will help make this community better and stronger.
Again, I welcome you to the new year, and I wish you success as you make the most of all that Santa Clara University has to offer. May God bless you in the year ahead.
Michael E. Engh, S.J.