Eastern Michigan University Student Body President Matthew Norfleet will be giving the State of the Student Body Address Monday, Feb. 11 in Ballroom B of the Student Center from 5:30-6:30 p.m., during which he will be discussing Student Government’s priorities, initiatives and achievements for the 2012-13 academic year.
Norfleet said the event is free and open to the public and he will be providing the EMU community with substantial updates and outcomes for Student Government actions including: the AATA ridership program, voter registration efforts, EMU tuition rebate incentives and tuition equity for undocumented students.
Norfleet, whose term will end April 29 at noon, said his predecessors built a solid foundation for subsequent administrations to work with.
“In Student Government this year we’ve been able to do a lot at a rapid pace,” he said.
Norfleet said he is most proud of Student Government’s civic engagement program this year, which included campus voter registration efforts, panel discussions on the ballot proposals and bussing students to and from polling locations.
“I think our civic engagement strategy was by far our most impressive collective effort, to really, really, really equip students with every resource possible, from voter manuals to literal rides to the polls,” Norfleet said.
Norfleet said of the 50 or 60 schools that registered with TurboVote, EMU ranked 4th in the nation for registered student voters at universities with a student population of more than 10,000.
Norfleet said when he first took office his administration was full of energy.
“We just wanted to tackle so much and do so much,” he said. “To our credit, I think we’ve done a lot. I always like to tell people that of our original plans, by the time school started we pretty much had an idea where every single one of those things was going to come about, when it was going to come about, even some of them had came about already. But I could say one thing that this experience has taught me is that great things take time. It’s been a humbling experience to play a part in all the progress and ideas.”
Norfleet said he thinks the role he has played is that of an advocate of the students.
“You know, in a way, I really view myself as a representative in that pretty much what I do it’s of the students, and for the students,” he said.
Norfleet said not everything Student Government does is a front-page news story, and some of the smaller, simpler things they’re pushing for lead to bigger results for students.
“I think a lot of our victories are the ones that don’t reach the headlines,” he said. “To be able to walk by and see a student just palling along and picking up a New York Times, which we sponsor, or to see someone stop and glance at an ad stand and write down the date and time of something—those things really make me smile because it’s proof positive that [with] just a little time, a little bit of thought the potential for success is just limitless.”
Norfleet said there was one priority he would be disclosing during Monday’s address, but refused to elaborate further.
“There’s one priority in particular that I think is going to have an impact on incoming students for a long time,” Norfleet said.