"SA President Addresses Senate, Assembly"



SA President Christian Oliver pledged Tuesday night "to make SA a respected institution on and off campus that all students can look to for leadership, protection and entertaining activities."

The vow came in Oliver's "State of the SA" address given before a joint meeting of SA senators and assemblymen.

He said that for the organization to be successful it needs university administrators' respect, which this year's SA acquired by demonstrating a willingness to work cooperatively with key administrative figures.

Oliver cited his Fall Fest dealings with Robert Arkeilpane, director of the division of athletics, as an example of such regard.

"We could get the best bands in the world, but if they didn't have the one date we had in Alumni, they weren't coming," said Oliver.

When SA canceled this year's Fall Fest following the Sept. 11 attacks, the organization risked being sued by performers Everclear and 3 Doors Down for failure to honor their contract. According to Oliver, it was SA's sound relationship with Arkeilpane that enabled the Fest to be rescheduled to Oct. 1 and potentially prevented a lawsuit.

"By having decent activities, people will like UB more," said Oliver. "They will get a better impression of what's going on and get people to meet people."

SA's president also discussed events currently being considered, including a classic rock concert with Bob Dylan and Billy Joel, a performance by comedian Chris Rock, a free Bill Clinton speech, and spring break vacation packages offered in conjunction with Schussmeister's Ski Club and Sub-Board I.

"Right now it looks like we're going to have a try for $269 for seven nights in Daytona in one of the nicest hotels there," said Oliver.

Another of SA's goals this year is to foster greater contact with students, said Oliver. SA has completely overhauled its Web site to make it more student-friendly, organized weekly SA Days across campus and is currently developing an online student book exchange.

Oliver also said SA will begin placing blue SA stands across campus, which will showcase the latest issue of Visions, the biweekly newsletter highlighting SA clubs and activities; the SA student guide Reach; and a suggestion box.

Finally, Oliver stressed the importance of organizations that fall under SA's umbrella.

"We need to empower 180 clubs. We need to give our clubs the resources, the funds, whatever they need to get out there to the students," he said.