Indiana Daily Student

IUSA executives pass the torch

Junior Jose Mitjavila is already making plans for next year as he steps into the role of student body president of IU Student Association.

Mitjavila, along with his running mates on the YOUniversity ticket, won the IUSA elections by a landslide at the beginning of April.

The YOUniversity administration was sworn in by IUSA Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew Bower in an informal ceremony Friday.

Mitjavila said he cannot point to a specific moment when he decided he wanted to be student body president, but he said he has wanted to be an executive since the summer after his freshman year of college.

“It came about pretty naturally,” Mitjavila said. “The more I got involved with IUSA, it became a natural ambition that I wanted that form of leadership.”

Because IUSA executives are elected by the student body each year instead of nominated from within the organization, it is difficult to maintain organizational consistency, outgoing IUSA president Kyle Straub said.

The majority of the YOUniversity executives, however, have been involved in IUSA in some capacity for the past two years. Casey Baker, for instance, will continue in her role as Treasurer, a position she has filled for the past year.

Mitjavila said there is an expectation within the organization that every year, non-graduating members of the outgoing IUSA administration will form a ticket and run for re-election.

“Since I’ve been in IUSA since my freshman year, it’s like you move up a little each year,” Mitjavila said. “As the seniors go out, someone steps up to form a ticket.”

Mitjavila said since he and other members of the incoming administration worked in IUSA last year as well, they will have to handle both incoming and outgoing transitions.
 
For example, as he steps into the role of student body president and takes on responsibility as the head of the executive branch, Mitjavila will be turning over his position as the IUSA chief of communications to a different member of IUSA.

Mitjavila said applications for positions in IUSA will be released Tuesday night and screened over the weekend. The administration hopes to finish interviewing applicants during dead week.

Straub said the outgoing administration has emphasized mentoring the incoming administration during the transitional process. He said this was not a priority during last year’s transition between the Big Six ticket and the Movement ticket, because most members of the senior staff had experienced the same learning curve after ousting the incumbent BtownUnited ticket in spring 2011.

Each outgoing executive has met with their successor to exchange tips and lessons, Straub said, as well as to discuss organizational goals.

“I’ve been keeping an ongoing list of tips, advice, recommendations to pass on to the next administration,” he said. “I sent them a list of 10 major tips and told them to print it out and put it on their desks. These are big picture things that I wish I would’ve known at the beginning of the year that would have made it a lot more effective.”

Straub said he has enjoyed the transition because, having worked with Mitjavila and the other executives before, he has faith in their ability to accomplish their goals.

“I see them with all these fantastic ideas, and I just feel like a father that can sit back and watch them try new things and give my advice here and there,” he said.

“They’re extremely hardworking, the preparation that they have done already is just unprecedented. No one outside of the organization is going to see the preparation that they’ve done ... I really do have a lot of confidence in what they’ll be able to accomplish.”

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