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Outgoing Student Government president looks back — and ahead

President Simone & Shiela Sarratore
Presidents Simone and Sarratore

It’s been a momentous year for Sheila Sarratore ’05 (new media publishing). In addition to completing her courses and all the typical senior-year activities, Sheila served as Student Government president. Among the year’s milestones were special events marking RIT’s 175th anniversary, the opening of our marvelous Gordon Field House and Activities Center, and the announcement that men’s hockey would move to Division I and the Atlantic Hockey Association.

Sheila Sarratore was at the forefront of these and many other occasions.

As she heads to the next phase of her life – as an assistant production manager for The Wall Street Journal – we asked Sheila to share her thoughts about her time at RIT. I think you’ll be interested in her comments.
President Albert J. Simone

Hello from one of the newest members of the RIT alumni community. For the past year I have held one of the best jobs ever: I was the president of Student Government. I guess because I had “president” in my title I got lucky and was asked to write the president’s words of wisdom for this issue of the magazine.

This year has been an amazing adventure. Really, who can say they’ve met Robert Redford, who visited in October as the 2004 Distinguished Horton Speaker, or Al Davis, the longtime friend and vice president emeritus known to everyone as Mr. RIT, or Bruce James ’64 (printing management), the U.S. Public Printer?

And to think, those are just a few of the cool extras, after all the free pizza, of course.

After this year’s experience I believe I have witnessed a major shift on campus. Students are simply more aware. This can be proven from attendance at the sold out events in the new Gordon Field House or the number of voters that came out for this year’s student leader elections – more than 20 percent of the population. While we hope for even higher turnout in the future, this was an amazing milestone, doubling past voter participation. Though students may still not sing the alma mater, there is a buzz on campus. Whether it has to do with spirit, the new curriculum changes, or simply the type of people coming in, the campus is definitely moving full steam ahead.

I am proud to say that RIT is my alma mater. It’s a great university and I can’t wait to come back for Brick City Homecoming and Division I hockey games. Dr. Simone, thank you for always putting students first. I have truly enjoyed working with you this year: You are a “level 5 leader” – as we learned from reading that best-selling book you like so much, Good to Great.

As for the future, it is time to say goodbye to Rochester and hello to Des Moines, Iowa. The Wall Street Journal will be my new home for a few years.

Finally, my words of wisdom – get a fight song! We need something to chant at D-I hockey games!

Officially signing for the last time,
Sheila Sarratore Signature
President, Student Government 2004-2005