As I mentioned earlier this week, it has been a very busy time on campus. Last Friday afternoon as the President of the United States was speaking in Burlington and then driving past the campus on his way back to the airport, the College recognized 41 of our 400+ student-athletes who have achieved a 3.7 + Grade Point Average. This is the first of what we hope will become a yearly recognition through what is known as National Student Athlete Day. OUR President Jack Neuhauser spoke as did Athletic Director Geri Knortz and VP for Academics Karen Talentino. Each student was presented with a framed certificate acknowledging their accomplishment. It is difficult enough for today's students to be taking a full load academically AND to be part of an athletic team which also requires a good portion of their time BUT to do that AND excel in the classroom is worthy of recognition. The President told them how proud he is of their accomplishments as did Geri and Karen. As the FAR (NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative) I recognized the student-athletes AND also spoke of the success being the result of an active collaboration between our students, coaches, faculty and both the Athletic and Academic Administration PLUS the added support of our President. We have 21 varsity teams and each team has a faculty affiliate who volunteers to assist in whatever capacity students need to help them be more successful in the classroom. Well done to all of our community for this accomplishment.
Over last weekend, many of our students and two advisors traveled to Troy, NY and Russell Sage College for the Northeast LGBT Conference. There were 433 students and 73 advisors from all over the Northeast in attendance and we were invited to present a talk on our It Gets Better video which, as of last week had over 8,500 hits on YouTube. This collaborative effort on the part of both our Student Athletic Advisory Council and our Common Ground organization on campus is a unique collaboration in that SMC student-athletes joined with LGBT students AND allies in this project. We spoke to approx. 50 students at the Conference and it was great to see how well-spoken our students who had written the script, filmed the video and who spoke in the video were in front of an audience - as always, I am so proud of our students. We drove down to Troy that morning and returned that afternoon after our workshop. If you have NOT seen our video, I would urge you to go onto You Tube and just put in Saint Michael's College It Gets Better and view it. We also found out this week that Athletic Management Magazine has published an article in their most recent edition on OUR It Gets Better video - this magazine goes out all over the country so we are pleased with getting the word out. Of course, our goal continues to be to help prevent ANY young person from ever taking their own life simply because they are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgendered........ The responses to our video continue to be positive, both on campus and, obviously, outside of SMC.
Off to spend time with family over this Easter weekend - the grading of papers can wait.
Take care, be well, and please keep all of the members of our military and all of our veterans in your thoughts and prayers.
Have a peaceful Easter.