By Michael Wunder, News Editor
University of Nebraska Omaha administration and faculty will support and offer aid to new Student Body President/Regent Liz O’Connor and Vice-President Bret Harrell, said Chancellor John Christensen at the April 18 inauguration ceremony.
“All of us stand ready to help you,” Christensen said. “We want to ensure most of all that the student voice is heard loud and clear.”
An audience of Student Government members, administration and family members looked on as Christensen addressed the two eager students in the Milo Bail Student Center Nebraska Room.
“The offices you have been elected to have significant responsibilities,” he said. “I think the campus right now enjoys great momentum. Together we have an opportunity to accomplish much.”
Christensen said he thought highly of their platform and its ability to make a more “efficient and more effective UNO.”
O’Connor’s oath of office was read by Carmen Mauer, interim corporation secretary for the University of Nebraska system. O’Connor swore to aid UNO’s growth and be an ethically responsible official.
In her response, O’Connor thanked her running mate Harrell, her fellow Student Government members, the administration and her parents.
“They believed in me before I even believed in myself,” she said.
The campus and the University are in the midst of “a lot of change,” O’Connor said. “I see how much of an honor it is [to be student body president/regent].”
After taking his oath, Harrell extended thanks and acknowledged the coming work he and his partner hope to begin.
“We have set expectations for exciting changes to occur,” he said.
O’Connor and Harrell will focus first on their No. 1 platform issue, which is publishing elements of professor evaluations online as a resource for students. Publishing the information, O’Connor said, will help students decide which classes to enroll in and which professors to take. After that, they hope to accomplish their other goals quickly.
On March 8, UNO voters elected O’ Connor, a junior political science major, as student body president/regent and her running mate senior sociology and political science major Harrell as vice president. The pair defeated opponents Ryan Tefft, a senior geology major, and Eric Hansen, a senior accounting major, by a 727 to 326 margin.
Voter turnout was 1,096, a decrease from last year’s record – setting 1,500.