Zupan promises a year of changes. Can he deliver?

by Alastair Pearson ’14

During the 2012-2013 school year, President Michael Zupan ‘14 won election on a campaign of change. He said he would transform life on campus. The Ignatius POLITICAT series will check his claims and post updates on his term throughout the year. Our first article focuses on Zupan’s agenda and what he wants to accomplish.

Student body president Michael Zupan said that he plans to implement a wide-ranging agenda during the 2013-14 school year that will include the replacement of the winter dance and the revival of a schoolwide survey on race relations.

Promise #1: Winter dance out, spring dance in

“There will be no winter dance,” Zupan said. “The winter dance itself is fun, but the lack of attendance is not as fun. It has kind of a stigma.”

The dance may be replaced with another activitywhich could be a spring dance- the night of this year’s restructured Class Competition, which he said will be planned further ahead to avoid last year’s logistical scrambling.

“It won’t be a dress-up affair,” Zupan said. “It will be a night time event. We want people to go home and shower. More details on that to come.”

Two of Zupan’s colleagues in Senate said that the president made the right choice in moving away from the winter formal.

“I think it’s an effective thing,” Thomas Horan ‘14 said. “It kinda pushes out something that’s been dying and decaying.”

Pat Meidenbauer ‘14 said that he will miss the dances, but he respects Zupan’s decision and has high expectations for the term.

“He works hard,” Meidenbauer said. “Our biggest project of the year is homecoming, and he’s handling it well.”

Promise #2: Check progress on race relations with a new student survey

The race-relations attitude survey was last conducted in 2009-10 when Zupan’s older brother Matt was the student body president, and will be implemented by the Student Senate Campus Climate committee under the leadership of Vincent Hwang.

Zupan said that the aim of the survey would be to see if there had been any notable changes in views about race at Ignatius since the last implementation of the survey.

Promise #3: Promote school spirit and increase attendance at school events

Spirit is also at the forefront of his agenda. The Student Senate Spirit Committee, under first-year senate member Jack J. Hyland, has been given extra funding to promote attendance and engagement at student events. “During the winter, we’re going to stress at-
tendance,” Zupan said. “Hopefully to increase the attendance at the winter sports.”

He also said he would work for more interactive rallies, building on the fall sports rally in which Hyland led raucous cheers, and Tom Horan conducted a question-and-answer session with Mr. Eynon followed by a tug of war between faculty and freshmen that ended in a surprise freshmen victory.

Zupan said the new rally format exemplified his commitment to spirit.

“We want better involvement by the students,” he said.

Promise #4: Invest wisely

The expanded funding for school spirit is built on an augmented senate budget. Only 89% of last years budget was spent. The resulting windfall means there is extra cash on hand for student activities.

The president said he does not believe fiscal responsibility in the senate will be a concern, citing the guidance of the faculty liaisons. “Mr. Kelley is very sure we waste nothing,” Zupan said. “In fact, starting this year–last year–Carlos [Pozuelo] was the only president to get it it not down to zero but nearer to zero.”

Zupan said that the lower balance last year was due to a donation to a bone marrow fund, and that the senate rarely makes unprofitable investments.

He said the beach party last year at winter formal was one of the few exceptions, which helped to contribute to the decision to move forward with eliminating the winter dance in favor of the new spring dance.

Promise #5: If it ain’t broke don’t fix it

Zupan said he aims to continue some aspects of business as usual, citing his commitment to Christmas on Campus, Easter and Halloween service events, and annual Student Senate T-shirt sales.

But, he said, make no mistake: this year will not be business as usual.

“Buckle up,” Zupan said.