A message from SA President Nick Johns
Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 12, 2013 19:09
Editor’s note: This letter has not been altered in any way.
Dear UB Undergraduate Students,
First, I would like to express my deepest apologies for the excessive pride that has clouded my judgment and leadership. I ask you for your forgiveness. I would also like to express my apologies to Jen Merckel. Our once great relationship has turned into a situation of mistrust and miscommunication, and downright bitterness. I hope we can restore our work relationship.
The Student Association as a whole should not be held responsible for my youthful ways. Please keep this in mind before you judge the Student Association.
On the face of the Student Association, we have been doing a concrete job of improving student life on campus. In fact, over the summer we have made great progress in securing the future of the SA.
1. We have drafted Bylaws for our new corporation and with administration’s approval; these bylaws will better protect our organization from lawsuits for years to come.
2. Our internal audit has strengthened internal controls by improving our financial insurance and human resource provisions.
3. We are in the final steps of approving the blueprints to construct a heated bus shelter at the Flint Bus Loop.
4. We have worked alongside Sub-Board Inc., to make alterations to their website to better inform students of the landlord and housing problems within the Buffalo area, by using a feedback system.
5. We are improving the Student Association website to include more resources, provide easily accessible information, as well as consolidate all club and event information to UBLinked.
6. We have established a new relationship with UB Athletics to establish a greater sense of school pride and tradition.
7. We have reinstated the music genre surveys for SA events to get the voice and opinions from the student body, to better represent their interests.
8. We are in the process of creating a new survey system to better represent the interests and opinions of the study body to gather feedback on campus life and activities.
9. We secured a two-year contract guaranteeing clubs free access to audio visual equipment.
10. Our small concert series with Reel Big Fish was a great success, despite the lousy weather conditions.
I am very happy to see my involvement as SA President has made a direct impact on these successes for the UB community. In the past I would have addressed these successes as being my own. However, I lost sight of the fact that I would not have been able to accomplish all of this without the support, dedication, and hard work from the SA staff.
I am the youngest and first Asian-American Student Association President to sit in this chair. I thought, in my youth, that I could reinvent the wheel. Now, I realize that the time is not right for the SA to be completely remade. I have made a mistake and that is allowing such arrogance to take over the person I used to be. I made multiple SA employees angry because I pushed for too much progress and change, too soon. Due to my excitement these members have pushed back with drastic actions against myself and the Student Association.
I believe the fundamental issue of this internal SA conflictis the lack of communication efforts between a fraction of SA employees and me. SA insiders have thrown around terrible claims and these disgruntled staffers are unhappy with my management style. It hurts me to see this conflict between myself and those I once considered my friends. At the same time, I cannot be held fully responsible for the fragmentation of the organization. This negative public relations problem could have been avoided had these individuals come and addressed me first. This deeply saddens me, but at the same time this has made me aware my opinion is not greater than that of my staff.
I have not committed any crimes against the Student Association, nor have I misused the public trust for personal gain. These allegations are politically motivated, and the bulk of the evidence against me is circumstantial at best. I can provide a vigorous rebuttal to all of these allegations.In the future, I hopeas a group,they will directly address me about their concerns, where we would have been able to make adjustments internally, rather than going to the Spectrum.If anyone has any questions regarding any claims against the Student Association or myself, I encourage you to please stop by my office in 350C Student Union.
I apologize that these allegations have strained the trust on this campus, which resulted in a negative public image. Again, I apologize to Jen Merckel for not respecting her opinions and appreciating her dedication and hard work. I am deeply sorry that our close relationship has turned so negative. I hope we can restore our work relationship and friendship to what it was in the past.
That being said, my deepest apologies are reserved for the students and staff who I’ve alienated with the results of a prideful attitude.
I hope that you, the students, are willing to forgive me. Until such time, I will continue working hard to the best of my ability for the betterment of campus life.
If you forgive me, in order to restore the faith of the Undergraduate Student Body: I promise to work 9-6 everyday, with the exception of class, to bring our organization to new heights. I promise to collaborate with each and every member of the SA Staff to understand their concerns and unique points of view. I promise to humble myself and to understand what it means to be a public servant. I promise to forgive those who have conspired against me, and to partner with them despite our differences. I promise to change my management style to better suit the needs of the Student Association. Finally I promise to deliver a successful year, Fall Fest, and Spring Fest.