Jul 30, 2009

USSA Congress: Bittersweet goodbyes and new beginnings

Last week, student leaders from around the country convened in Boulder, Colorado for the 62nd annual National Student Congress. As time elapsed on the 2008-2009 leadership and board of directors, student delegates passed an ambitious agenda for the new academic year.

While the closing of Congress brought a rush of excitement about the new national legislative priorities and a renewed sense of community in the student movement, it was also a bittersweet moment as we said thanks to out-going president Carmen Berkley. During her tenure steering the USSA ship, Carmen oversaw membership growth, legislative victories, and was the literal voice of college students time and again. More importantly, Carmen has become an endearing friend to basically anyone who has been involved in the USSA in the past few years. On behalf of the USSA family, thank you Carmen for being a steady leader, caring friend, and all-around great person.

So it is with a nostalgic heart and energetic mind that the USSA turns to the future with new President Greg Cendana and Vice President Lindsay McCluskey. In their nomination speeches, both spoke about expanding membership to include more campuses in the student movement and utilizing student power to win concrete victories for higher education. Between the DREAM Act facing its best chance of passing yet and the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act overhauling a broken lending system, Cendana and McCluskey take the helm at a historic moment.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 62nd annual National Student Congress- it was one of the best yet! Click here to watch speech highlights and read more about the conference.

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