Mimicking past student government administrations, the newly elected presidential team plans to split their governing time this summer when President-Elect Dan Gearhart departs for a six-week Marine Corps training camp in July.
And while both Gearhart and Tim Hole, vice president-elect of the Associated Students of CSU, said it’s not necessary they physically work together on campus at the same time to run a successful administration, former ASCSU presidents said their situation presents a challenge.
“If you don’t lay the ground work in the summer, you don’t have everything in place that you need,” said Katie Gleeson, the 2007-2008 ASCSU president, adding that both she and former Vice President Trevor Trout took “time for themselves, but never six weeks.”
Gleeson, who said she and Trout only took brief vacations during the summer, said that time period is invaluable for building relationships with administrators and organizations and for prioritizing goals for the upcoming year.
Hole said he plans to spend the first part of the summer at his home in south Denver, making the trek to campus for meetings with Interim CSU President Tony Frank, the Vice President of Student Affairs Blanche Hughes and other administrators. Hole will return to campus to take the reigns from Gearhart on July 1.
Before winning the presidency this month, Gearhart was scheduled to attend 10 weeks of training. He said he had to “pull a lot of strings” in order to cut his time commitment.
Having already approved cabinet positions this week, a week earlier than planned, Gearhart said his absence would not be a detriment to the team’s success in the fall because they are “already ahead of the game.”
Gearhart will be unable to take phone calls or answer e-mails and is limited to letter contact while in Virginia, yet he and Hole were still confident the restrictions would not hinder their communication.
When asked whether he thought he and Gearhart should be on campus together when the CSU System Board of Governors releases the approved 2009-2010 fiscal year budget on July 1, Hole said, “It’s not really necessary that we’re both here at the same time. We’ll be able to contact him via standard postal service.”
Gearhart said with “big things that come up in the budget, I have faith in the people I work with.”
As far as the team’s goal to jumpstart efforts this summer to push the Board of Governor’s Bill — which would give CSU student presidents voting rights on the BOG — Gearhart said ASCSU’s Department of Legislative Affairs will re-write the bill and send letters this summer.
“I’ll come back and things will be ready to go,” he said.
“(The Department of Legislative Affairs) will be developing it over the first part of the summer and then getting it implemented later on,” when he returns the second week in August.
Current ASCSU President Taylor Smoot said he took about two weeks off before jumping into six-hour workdays, establishing connections with as many university groups as possible.
As far as the effect of working separately throughout the summer Smoot said, “Missing definitely hurts, but I think it’ll be just fine.”
Trout echoed Smoot’s opinion.
“As long as constant communication occurs … the concentration is ambiguous in its definition in the two executive roles,” he said, saying the new elects needed to solidify what each was going to tackle this summer.
Assistant News Editor Madeline Novey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.