Jennifer N. Stewart

Student Body President Mike Scott addresses Miami faculty and students Tuesday night in Culler Hall for the annual State of the Student Body Address.

Despite a winter ice storm, Student Body President Mike Scott delivered the annual state of the student body address Tuesday.

Scott addressed an audience of about 50, including Miami University President David Hodge, Associated Student Government (ASG) members and students.

Scott began his speech by reiterating the fact that even during a financial downturn, ASG intends to move in a positive direction.

“While we are threatened by a difficult financial situation, tonight I report that that state of the student body remains strong, and we are committed to making it stronger,” he said.

According to Scott’s speech, continuity or following up on former leaders’ goals, are essential concepts for not only ASG, but every other Miami program.

“In our world of virtual social networking, we have the capability to allow current and future student leaders of all organizations to benefit from the time, talents and treasure of the organization’s former member,” Scott said. “This model will take time to develop, but as it continues to grow, it will allow students to learn from the past.”

The future Bicentennial Student Center-which will one day sit where Culler, Gaskill and Rowan halls are now located-was another topic Scott discussed.

“The new student center is a project that the students of Miami, our predecessors, have identified as a true necessity for Miami to continue attracting the best and brightest,” he said. “During difficult financial times, this attraction of potential students is not just convenient, it is vital.”

According to Scott, ASG needs to reach out to other Miami organizations. Hodge agreed.

“The more that it (ASG) can make collaborations and active partnerships with other organizations on campus, and beyond, the more effective it will be … a great message in my mind,” Hodge said.

Hodge was glad Scott touched on the future student center in his speech. Nine ASG presidents have been requesting a new student center, Hodge said.

“The vision of it is, that it is the student center,” Hodge said. “And it will be run by the student, for students 24/7 and I’m very, very excited about what that’s going to do for the student experience. But we got hard work to get there, so I was very appreciative of the fact that he made that a centerpiece of the specific issues that he thinks we need to meet.”

Scott mentioned four goals for ASG to reach for in the coming years, including raising adequate funds that will allow for an ASG office for the new student center, improving the Miami alumni network, building an endowment fund that will routinely cover ASG administration funds and increasing the link between current and former ASG goals.

Scott’s speech was around 15 minutes, followed by a handful of brief questions from the audience.

During these questions, Scott addressed a question about how ASG advocated for all students in his lobbying. If ASG reaches out to other programs, he said, jointly they can work together to improve Miami and beyond.

Peyton Stanforth, vice president of campus activities, said previous ASG speeches have focused on the ongoing financial crisis, but Scott’s speech contained a more positive attitude towards the future.

“He really hit on everything … Mike’s speech was very forward looking,” Stanforth said.

Junior Ryan Strizak was also in attendance.

“Obviously he is a very good speaker and came off very intelligent,” Strizak said. “He has a good idea of the direction for the future of Miami University.”

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