You are here

Convocation

Convocation is an annual celebration for faculty and staff held on the Friday prior to the start of instruction to mark the beginning of the new academic school year. Hundreds of people gather from across campus at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center to welcome new colleagues, highlight recent achievements and share ideas as we look to the future.

President's Message

We’re coming up on our 70th anniversary as a university. The question I put before you is, “Will we still be a viable university seventy-years from now?” Of course, 70 years is a long time, so if that time frame is daunting, think about 10 to 20 years from now. How old will you be then? What are your hopes for what you’ll be doing?

What about the university? What must we preserve at all costs? What can we stop doing, or “selectively forget”? How do we carve out time to innovate and create new areas of work and new ways of doing that work? Are there new audiences to serve? Are there cutting edge transdisciplinary areas to grow? Will we be thriving in 10 to 20 years? 

If you think yes, we will still be a viable university in one or two decades, use your imagination. What do you envision about our size, organization, disciplinary areas, teaching methodologies, faculty and student body characteristics, partnerships, number of on-campus versus commuting students, number of international and other non-resident students versus California natives, and so on? What have we preserved from our current success and what have we created to be increasingly relevant in coming decades? Have we chosen to stop doing anything? If so, what do you imagine that is?

When I reflect on our past it’s stunning. Imagine that we started in apartments and garages on Anaheim Street and now have a gorgeous campus with more than 40,000 members in our campus community.  When I see the new CCPE building almost completed as a net zero building, all the ADA and infrastructure improvements across campus, and the new Student Success Building renovation nearing completion I know we are constructing with brick and mortar a diverse and enabling future. But that’s only part of what needs constructing.

If you think, no, we won’t be around as a university in 20 years, imagine the forces internally and externally that caused our demise. Have we become a hub, or a spoke, in the CSU system that could no longer afford 23 comprehensive campuses? Has the declining birth rate finally hit California such that we could not maintain enrollment in competition with on-line entities or almost-free community colleges that now offer 4-year degrees? Did the cost of education or the drive to personalize education and focus primarily on career success undo many departments, thus leaving us a very different place? Did we discontinue elements of our university that were no longer viable? Did we let those elements damage the whole, or did we create something new that allowed us to flourish?

It is an urgent and exciting time to imagine our ways forward because of the massive transformations that face us.

By their natures universities change slowly, and that has a very good side. We are the holders of histories, cultures, and knowledge. We are supposed to be able to tell the difference between fads and credible trends. We are charged to convey thousands of years of accumulated wisdom from across the globe and galaxy to our students and the public. We have to look back, evaluate, and disseminate a complete record. 

We are also charged to look forward as test beds of innovation, creativity, discovery, and evidence-based revisions of prevailing orthodoxies. Our job is to imagine what has not yet been substantiated. Our job is to continually evaluate how we teach, research, and offer public service to changing disciplinary landscapes, student populations, and regional needs. While we change slowly for some good reasons, we must be nimble for other equally good reasons.

At this point in our history it’s time to use our prodigious imaginations to enact the phrase, “the future is in our hands.”

In the midst of being really busy doing what we do (which is often quite spectacular, by the way—look at this slide of just a few notable accomplishments in the past academic year), how do we raise our sights to a ten-year horizon so we can be ready for whatever comes and actually shape our future to meet our optimal aspirations for public higher education in California. The future is not tomorrow, it is a job to work on today.

Being ready for whatever comes is tough. Being in charge of our fate is even more challenging. We are at the right moment to celebrate our current successes—and I mean really bask in what we have accomplished—and imagine what our next steps can be. We are in a position of strength, which makes imagination possible.

Now, some among us may say that we can’t control the future. Control is an illusion about many important things. That insight is for our award-winning philosophy department to comment upon, of course, but, to me, it does suggest the futility of some kinds of worrying. Earthquakes, asteroids, pandemics, nuclear bombs, global financial collapse, and so on can change our trajectories no matter how well we plan. 

But, our personal and organizational lives are made far more resilient by taking responsibility for things we can control and notice (meaning, while I can’t control the earthquake, I have noticed I’m living in an earthquake prone region and have prepared an emergency kit). I believe those who feel and act as if they control their fates are healthier, stronger, and most often more successful than those who experience themselves as pawns of their DNA, or their life circumstances. I am absolutely sure that those who are experts at noticing signals and trends around them are in a better place to feel and be in control.

And, by the way, if the faculty, staff, alumni and students at our university can’t envision our future and recognize the signals and trends from the physical, social, financial, and political environments in order to plan strategies that mitigate dangers and maximize opportunities, who can do it? In this room, and beyond to our greater campus community, are the best and brightest. We can do anything. But we must guard against the dangers of being in echo chambers or bubbles. We must let in new voices that may either reinforce or challenge our prevailing norms. We must reflect on uncomfortable information with humility and curiosity.

I’m excited, therefore, to formally launch Beach 2030. A two-year process of imagining, networking, data gathering, debating, curating, revising, discussing, and prioritizing an image of a 2030 destination for our campus. What is the current environment telling us about our optimal size, physical plant, financial model, disciplines, teaching methods, partnerships, technological supports, organizational models, footprint, and mission for the coming decades? How do we manage the journey into the future? Much like we do now? Or, do we make significant changes in the “hows” of our campus to reach new “whats”? Remember, the future is today.

Before Provost Brian Jersky introduces you to the mechanics of the process, I will tell you my goals for Beach 2030. First, I want all of us to know more about each other’s dreams and aspirations for our university. I’m convinced such knowledge will add to our imagination and creativity going forward. I want us, as a whole community, to gain skills in maximizing all the opportunities that surround us and to build the fortitude to grapple with whatever changes our analyses suggest.

Some things won’t change. We will still offer rigorous academic experiences and influential student life opportunities to all our students. We will promote inclusive excellence. We will accelerate innovation across all our scholarly areas. We will contribute to the common good. And, I hope that over the next decade we will, if appropriate, experiment with “discontinuous adventures” if we judge them to be positive game changers for our students.

Okay. Are you ready? Faculty? Staff? Students? Colleges? Departments? Alumni? Associated Students? Academic Senate? Community partners? Leadership Fellows? Data Fellows? Ready to begin a journey of imagination that will chart the future of our university for decades to come? Ready to engage with internal and external stakeholders to experience glimpses of what’s to come—forces that promote us and forces that threaten us? Ready to wrestle with the limits of our control with a conviction that we should always be operating at the outer limits of what we can control and can interpret?

I am ready to take this journey with you. I’m ready because I’m convinced that while some problems are best solved by doing more of the same, the really big threats and opportunities will require new ways of thinking and doing. They will require the imagination of the people in this room and in our greater community. These problems are daunting: declining state support, increasing income inequality, unrelenting racism, changes in the world of work, climate change, an increasingly nuclearized world, and escalating divisiveness, to name just a few. The time is now to imagine how we survive and thrive. To do so we’ll figure out what to preserve and what to forget, and embrace what we can create together.

We often say that we offer transformative experiences to our students. I know that’s true. For many of our students a Beach education has altered their historical trajectories in ways that lead toward better health, deeper civic engagement, economic advancement, creative achievement, and community and professional leadership. Can we transform ourselves by unleashing our creativity to sustain and propel our university into the future?

Students and their possibilities change. Advances in scholarship and science change what we know and can accomplish. We are leading the nation in certain areas—especially in graduation and persistence rates and reduction in equity gaps for our diverse student body. Can we do better using more-of-the-same strategies? And how can we use our achievements along the path of becoming a SMART CAMPUS to accelerate success. Can we, in fact, make environments that propel our students and ourselves into currently unknown areas of achievement? Exciting to contemplate!

I’ve suggested that some of the things we do and the way we do them are worth forgetting. Something that should never be forgotten, however, is our belief in the power of human relationships—our “heart.” All learning takes place within relationships. I want us to determine how our vital relationships can be preserved and expanded. I’ll be looking to each of you for ideas.

What do we preserve? What must be forgotten? What can we create?

These are questions I can’t answer alone. I need for each of you to participate fully in Beach 2030. I am asking you to care about and influence a future campus that you and I may not inhabit. Please, engage in building our future. Can I get an enthusiastic “yes” for a future in which our academic rigor, inclusive excellence, public good and innovation efforts propel our students and our community to new heights that we may now only imagine?

Thank you and Go Beach!

Provost's Message

Thank you Jane for so eloquently setting the stage for Beach 2030. I am excited about the new direction our campus is taking. That being said, I am sure some of you may be skeptical of this new initiative. Some might be asking if it is simply going to be ‘another’ directive for our campus. I assure you all that this is not the case.

Our campus has not seen anything like this.

As Jane mentioned, the future of our campus and the national narrative has left us reevaluating how and why we do strategic planning. We cannot simply apply a traditional model to our reimagined future. Our new planning model allows us enough ambiguous open space to creatively turn our future into an opportunity for our campus. What I know for certain is that we cannot go back to the ‘way things have always been done.’

On the national stage higher education is on the defensive. Some political pundits claim to believe that a ‘liberal’ education is doing more harm than good for society. With the free speech debate still being played out on college campuses and an incorrect perception that colleges are negatively contributing to the next generation of students - the political climate is making people ask how beneficial colleges are to our society. This paradigm shift has left many wondering, ‘what is the future of higher education?’ We know the answer is ‘yes’, we are not only beneficial, but essential.

But, this national negativity has taken a toll on all institutions of higher education, including ours. The CSU went on the offensive this political season to demonstrate to Governor Brown that publicly-funded higher education institutions not only matter, but are instrumental to the future of California. After a successful lobbying effort with key stakeholders, our campus received more of the much needed funding we need to operate, but still less that what we need to flourish. The disconcerting issue the budget discussions raised was how much we needed to prove why we matter to secure even that level of future funding.

Now on to Beach 2030.

Moving forward we need a thoughtful, authentic process that engages the entire campus, not just a select few. We also need a plan that combines, adapts and aligns with our campus WASC reaccreditation.  In addition to Beach 2030, our campus will also be engaged in the process of a WASC reaccreditation. This equally important, yet parallel process gives our campus time to engage on where we are now. This information will become a vital portion of Beach 2030, which is where we want to be. Both of these efforts will combine what our campus holds at our core: the central themes of intellectual achievement, public good and inclusive excellence.

Another key effort that will launch during this time will be the 5th cohort of the Leadership Fellows Program. This year the program will combine Beach 2030 with its existing model– with the new name Leadership Fellows Program – Beach 2030. The new name represents that this year’s cohort will focus on leadership primarily through the lens of Beach 2030. Those who are interested should check the Leadership Fellows website.

Ultimately we are being charged with uprooting today’s view of our educational process, and conceptualizing a new campus for 2030. This process will set up our university for the next generation of educators, students and community.  We are going to cast a vision of our future. We must be prophets of hope, not merchants of doom.

This is where Beach 2030 comes into play.  We are reinventing how our campus has traditionally executed strategic planning, and retooling to create a sustainable model for our campus. How will this be achieved? The answer lies with everyone in this room.

We all have a rare chance to contribute to guiding this great campus by envisioning and setting up the structure for students and faculty.  We have the privilege of imagining, creating and controlling the outcome with this unique opportunity. 

I want you all to take a moment for reflection –

Close your eyes.

Imagine the year 2030.

What do you see?

What does our campus look like? 

What does not exist anymore?

From the viewpoint of the student – How will a traditional classroom look? Will general education be the same then as it is now? Have parking issues been solved with an entrepreneurial system that benefits the residents and the students? Have the parking lots been replaced with learning spaces? Have we become even more widely recognized for teaching excellence?

From the perspective of faculty, what does it mean to reinvent the future of education? Will the student/faculty interaction look the same? Our colleges – will fewer majors exist within larger departments? Has an online system eliminated impaction? What does it look like to educate students for a job that does not currently exist, but that will provide the basis for a critical career and a fulfilling life when they graduate?

For the alumni – being part of ‘the Beach’ family might mean a deeper connection to our campus. They might come back after five years and provide insights on their work so our students get timely career advice. Perhaps they have the opportunity to take classes for the rest of their life. Maybe an infrastructure exists where they have not only a lifelong campus email, but remain a consistent and active part of our campus.

I honestly don’t know if any of these scenarios are a possibility, but I do know that we all need to think beyond today to open up to a new future.

We can truly reimagine.

As the school year begins, the campaign for Beach 2030 will slowly roll out all over our campus.  Expect to hear of upcoming Beach 2030 event preparations throughout campus. From social media, to news media, email, to snail mail – we will proactively be getting the word out. Everyone from the university to the community at large, within close proximity of Long Beach, is well aware of the interactive campaign that they can join. 

On November 14 – 15, CSULB will stage an interactive 2-day public event on campus. I believe most of us have never seen anything like this. The event, called Imagine Beach 2030, will be ‘played’ online using any mobile device, laptop, desktop, or Twitter account. Anyone - our students, faculty, staff, our campus communities, alumni, business and civic leaders can and should participate.

As one possibility, professors might spend some time with their classes having an open dialogue, and using computers to participate. This naturally is the prerogative of the faculty member. Business owners on 2nd Street can share input they believe is helpful to the campus. Alumni may comment and engage with ideas that are being expressed. The possibilities for interaction are manifold, and the more people who take part, the better!

To support the ‘event,’ our campus will also take a non-traditional approach on those two days to spark engagement. This is the first time in Cal State Long Beach’s history that this much campus and local engagement have ever been possible. Put these dates on your calendar now.

Really anyone, anywhere can engage online. Make your voice heard!

How is the event ‘played’ during the 48-hour timeframe?

Here is an example of how the event will look. As you can see comments or ideas are shared and anyone can choose to respond. Each reply may spur an idea to induce more engagement, or die a solitary death. 

So the event is driven by you or anyone participating. Non-traditional ideas have the potential to come from surprise sources.

Here we see how ideas, positive or challenging, have emerged and gained traction. Others are responding with their comments, more people start to reply, and the idea potentially ‘trends.’

Another thought might not gain interest. That is what makes this interaction authentic. Each person has the potential to decide where ideas and opinions go or don’t go. Any voice or opinion, if it is shared by many, can decide if a topic is timely and widespread.

During this time, our campus will be listening and gathering everyone’s insights and attitudes.  Based on these responses and engagement, comments may grow into actions that will shape our future.

How is this going to happen from a practical point of view?

Several month ago we met with Institute for the Future (IFTF) to discuss our campus. IFTF is a 50-year, non-profit organization with experience in partnering with college campuses and other similar entities to engage in strategic, future-thinking vision maps. Based on their impressive track record, our campus decided to collaborate with them to help us develop a new way to envision our future.

For the past several months we have been working closely with the VPs, Senate, Deans, AVPs, and others to start the process of creating an individualized infrastructure to best promote and handle ‘the event’ for each area. The designated teams, selected by an area, have effectively planned ways to support the event.

Look to your areas to see how you can engage with the event. Senate, department chairs, staff, students and alumni – this is your opportunity to have your area be represented. Identify an action team to help lead your area, department or interest. Develop a plan to organize events that facilitate discussions from your constituents. What does your area need to ensure opinions and ideas are expressed?

As Jane mentioned, this two-year process will help us look introspectively at our campus, and develop a new future-focused way of thinking. Everyone participates: students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the larger CSULB and Long Beach community.

In order to gain outside interest, our campus will be reaching out to local media, community leaders, external stakeholders and neighbors to invite them to participate. Around campus, venues will be provided to support playing the event.

What does that mean for individual areas?

How can you be involved?

In each area on campus, action teams will be formed to help facilitate the campaign. Designated people from each section on campus are available to help connect you to the event. Speak with your leadership, Senate, college, department or division for ways to connect or even help plan for the event.

Talk to your network, reach out to students and colleagues, and share the vision of where our campus should be going. This planning will create a platform to exchange ideas to produce action. 

When you came in the theatre this morning you received a notepad with the new Beach 2030 logo. My hope is that this will not only remind you of the event, but remind you to start thinking of topics to discuss during the event. Start now.

Look around the room – everyone here has a voice that matters.

All the results from the event will be consolidated into a vision map with the help of IFTF. This working document will be shared again to specific focus groups on campus for more engagement to filter out what is important.  The ultimate purpose is to produce a clear draft of the vision map.

From the vision map will come a working document that evolved from the workshops, events and broader feedback from all participants. From the results we receive, a living document will become our driving force and guide for the future. 

While the campus is engaged in the event, other campus reimagining is concurrently happening. Each area on campus, from the physical master plan to the financial plan, will also be opened up to the process.

My hope for our campus lies in our three core values – Intellectual Achievement, Inclusive Excellence, and Public Good. The secret to our future success lies in remembering these truths not only today, but for an unknown future. What does intellectual achievement look like in 2030? Has the campus fully embraced an inclusive environment for all? Does the surrounding community believe that our campus has become an integral part of making a difference in the neighborhood?

We need you to engage your network.  We need you to be heard. We need you to shape and understand your vision for the campus’s future. As administrators, we are listening and will make changes based on your collective voice – we are all in this together. What is most important is that all of us can think about the future, and mould this small corner of the world in our desired image.

The possibilities are endless and we have leveled the playing field. We are entering into new territory and embarking on a new adventure. If you ever felt like your voice did not matter, we are giving you the golden opportunity to have an equal voice.

Welcome to our future.

Now, our revered President, Jane Close Conoley, will conclude her visionary remarks.

Academic Senate Chair's Remarks

Good morning, and welcome to the academic year 2018/19 here at California State University, Long Beach! My name is Norbert Schürer; I am a professor in the English department; and I am speaking to you today as Chair of the Academic Senate. The Academic Senate at CSULB is made up of elected representatives from four constituencies—students, faculty, staff, and administration—and has two main functions: communication and policy-making. So for one, we write policies on issues that affect all of us on campus, such as general education, student evaluations of teaching, academic advising, and education abroad. Secondly and just as importantly, we are the only communications forum where all major constituencies of the university come together and talk on a regular basis. By the way, our Senate meetings are all open to the entire campus, so I invite you come to one of our meetings every other Thursday in PSYCH 150 and check it out.

But today, I want to use my time here to talk about communication on campus. There are two contexts here: First, this is my third and probably last year as Chair of the Academic Senate, so I want to share some of the insights I’ve come to in the last two years—although I assume that many of these ‘insights’ will be obvious to you. Second, we’re at the beginning of Beach 2030, the project to imagine what CSULB might look like ten years from now—a project in which I strongly encourage you to participate. I’m not going to talk so much about the content or process of Beach 2030—Provost Jersky and President Conoley will fill you in on that—but rather about how communication in that process and with that content might work. I’ll do that by offering Norbert’s Six Rules of Engagement. However, before I get started, I should point out that I don’t always follow these rules myself, so if it seems like I’m wagging my finger at individuals or groups, I’m actually wagging it at myself most of the time. So here we go:

First of all, listen and learn! We all seem to have the tendency to proffer our opinions before we actually have the necessary information. I can’t tell you how many times over the last few years I’ve heard someone say, ‘I wish we did X at CSULB’—when we do do X and they just haven’t heard about it. Personally, I’ve been known to spout my opinions and then learn that my premises were entirely incorrect, and I apologize to anyone whose time I wasted doing that.

Along the same lines, secondly, assume good intentions! In my experience, almost everyone at this University wants to do well by our students, so rather than dismissing someone else’s ideas it might be more useful to try and understand the thinking behind those ideas. For instance, stereotypically, faculty tend to think that administrators will embrace any change as long as it’s labelled as innovation, and administrators tend to think that faculty are constitutionally recalcitrant and resist any change. But rather than embracing these stereotypes, how about we assume instead that both groups want to improve our students’ learning experiences and just have different ideas about how we can best reach that goal?

At the same time, I would encourage you (#3) to maintain a healthy skepticism! Yeah, we mostly have good intentions—but we often have very different ideas about how to turn those intentions into action, and those ideas will sometimes be in direct contradiction to one another. That’s not a bad situation per se, but it’s one that needs to be resolved by debate and discussion that are both robust and civilized—and yes, it’s possible to have both at the same time.

After listening and learning as well as balancing good intentions and healthy skepticism, you will need to put in the time! What I mean by this fourth Rule of Engagement here is that you have to participate actively in the process of forming a vision for the University and making it happen. If you don’t come to meetings, sign up for committees, or at least post on the various online sites, you’ve (IMHO) forfeited the right to complain about anything that comes out of a process such as Beach 2030.

As a matter of fact, fifth, I would even say you should be like a dog with a bone! If you don’t advocate loudly, tirelessly, and ceaselessly for your ideas and positions, they’ll probably get steamrolled. I know that some of you will say that with teaching and research you don’t have the time and energy to do that, and I totally understand that, but please also understand on your part that somebody has to make the effort to effect positive change—so why not you?

Finally, my sixth Rule of Engagement is to embrace diversity and variety! We’re a community of something like 2,000 faculty, 4,000 staff and administrators, 37,000 students, and over 300,000 alumni. So, yeah, we use two or more names—CSULB and Long Beach State, for starters—but that’s OK: If we embrace diversity and variety as an institution, there’s no reason we can’t call that institution different things. More importantly, at a university the size of ours, solutions to our challenges will almost certainly not be one-size-fits-all solutions—and that’s also OK. We need to recognize that even the groups or constituencies at CSULB aren’t homogenous, and that we need support tailored to individual situations as much as possible. That means incremental improvement rather than dramatic change, but that’s how we’ll actually make our students’ lives better.

So with these six Rules of Engagement in mind—listen and learn, assume good intentions, maintain a healthy skepticism, put in the time, be like a dog with a bone, and embrace diversity and variety—I think we have a chance of turning Beach 2030 into an excellent experience for our campus, and once again I encourage you to participate. If you have any questions, get in touch with me (at norbert.schurer@csulb.edu), contact your elected Academic Senate representatives, or come to one of our Academic Senate meetings. That way, we will best be able to move forward in 2018/19 and improve the experiences of our students, faculty, administration, and staff for the next decade. Thank you, and Go Beach!

ASI President's Remarks

Thank you Provost Jersky for the kind introduction and President Conoley for the invitation to speak with this important audience. Welcome, everyone.

As the provost stated, my name is Genesis Jara and I am honored to be serving as this year’s president of Associated Students, Inc. I am here today to share a little bit about my story in hopes to express the importance of all of our roles in ensuring the success of our students at this amazing university. And more specifically, what it takes to continue to break down the barriers too often put in front of students from underrepresented communities.

I am a first generation Latina and a proud child of an immigrant. My father immigrated to the United States from Mexico when he was just 16 years old. He met my mother and at the age of 18 and at 20 they had my older brother, and two short years later they had me. My parents had all the odds and people stacked against them, even family members. No one believed teenage parents living in Compton would stay together much less amount to anything. My parents worked extremely hard to secure stable jobs, buy a home in Downey, California and raise us in a city with a great public education system. My parents, like so many others out there, have overcome and accomplished a lot. And just last month, they celebrated 24 years of marriage and are joining us here today.

Seeing my parents work so hard and make sacrifices for our family has always given me courage, and it’s why I am standing on this stage today. Since elementary, all the way up until now I have served my community. Service to others has and will always be my passion because of the morals they instilled in me, and though they have helped me lead a morally grounded, leadership focused life – I still suffer from this thing called the impostor syndrome.

When I got to college I realized how real the imposter syndrome is for students of color like me. The imposter syndrome is defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. It’s easy to feel invalidated or not capable in spaces you feel like you don’t belong and I know this is a feeling that exists for many students of historically marginalized communities in higher education. Not only are they facing emotions of invalidation but they are often facing systematic barriers that come with the financial hardships of obtaining a degree. Too many of our students are food insecure, homeless, struggling with their identity, struggling with their citizenship status, struggling to pay rent, and overall struggling with all the costs of attending college.

CSULB and ASI have done a phenomenal job at providing resources for these underrepresented students. Services like our ASI Beach Pantry, scholarship resource center, undocumented student support groups, and legal clinics, were all created to ensure that our students feel supported in their times of need. And efforts like the implementation of the Queer Student Success Initiative, and workshops such as the Muslim, Vet Net, Autism, AB540, and Safe Space ally trainings make sure communities have partners so that we are all able to accomplish our objectives while earning our degrees.

In addition, as a university we are embarking on our Beach 2030 strategic planning process where all of us will be asked to reimagine what CSULB can look like 12 years down the line.

With our students of greatest need in mind, I imagine a future at Long Beach State where students don’t have to worry about where to sleep at night because we have an overnight housing center. I imagine a future where students don't have to pay hundreds of dollars for their textbooks, a future where we develop a sustainable funding model for our university so we no longer have to rely on inconsistent state funding. I imagine a future where no student has to go homeless or hungry while attending our university and that they will be able to afford an equitable degree. I imagine a lot for our university, and I am excited to continue this great work with my team this upcoming year as we strive to provide more resources for underrepresented students. But we can’t do it alone.  

It takes the support and guidance from the advocates in this room, the faculty and staff like those here, who work with students on a daily basis. It takes the leadership of our administration as you continue to help us remove barriers and continue to promote inclusive excellence. I am hopeful that together; ASI, faculty, staff and administration will continue our long history of a flagship shared governance model to create positive, lasting and inclusive change.

It is our job to ensure that all student communities feel that they belong in this space. That they are not imposters. AND that they can hold positions of power. I am thankful that this university has done just that for me.

Thank you and Go Beach!