Wednesday, July 2, 2014

State of the Student Union: Another Year in the Books

Well, we made it. Hopefully we got a little smarter, saw a little more of the world and pushed ourselves a little bit further in the past year. If not, well then that's OK too. There's always next year.

In the fast pace of Drexel University, there isn't always time to look back. Let's take a second to look back at the 2013-14 year, and maybe another second to look ahead to -- gulp -- 2014-15. Yea, so basically just give me two quick seconds.

We started off with a bang, like a rocket liner off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton. The SMTSU leadership worked incredibly hard through last summer to bring you the first ever Sport for Social Change Conference in October 2013.

It was the biggest single event undertaking the SMTSU has ever pursued, but the benefits made it all worth it. We brought together students and professors and industry professionals all in the name of make the world a better place with the games we love. Names like Patrick Hruby and Eli Wolff and GO! Athletes and Craig Cassey Jr. and Ed Snider Youth Hockey and Dr. Eric Zillmer and Bruiser Flint graced the James E. Marks Intercultural Center, telling their stories and sharing their knowledge.

With the groundwork laid out to continue the conference into the future, the SMTSU is so happy to be working on the second edition of the Sport for Social Change Conference. We have some big plans and some well-known names already committed to presented. We really cannot wait to start announcing them.

The conference was just the beginning of 2013-14, though. We used the momentum gained to propel us through a snowy winter that unfortunately buried a networking night that we were very excited for. But we kept our heads down, pushed forward and put together our first-ever event series.

The SMTSU Spring Series was unlike any event we had ever put on, conference included. Everything we had done in the past were one-day events. This was three separate events over four days. A little bit for everybody, featuring a fundraiser, a professional development night and a wiffle ball tournament. Just a tremendous way to end the year that was.

But it wasn't just major events that we were able to master. We had terrific meeting attendance with great chatter and brainstorming.

And the blog, you know the thing you're reading right now. We had the best academic year ever in terms of viewership, and although I'm not one for touting page-views, we surpassed a once-daunting milestone that includes more than a few zeroes.

I'm proud. I'm proud of what my fellow students have been able to accomplish over the last year. I'm proud of the relationship we've built with the sport management faculty. I'm proud of where the SMTSU is going.

There were times over the course of my time as president when I felt like I wasn't doing enough. I would sit back and think of what I could do differently, what I could do more of. Every time I sat back and thought about it, I was amazed with the work that my fellow students were doing. I didn't have to pick up anybody's slack. Everybody was on top of their game, 100 percent of the time. As a leader who was charged with sustainability, simply keeping the group together beyond the founding president, it's unspeakably rewarding to know that people are on your side. And I thank everyone who helped.

This will probably be the last time I will be writing to you in this forum. Sure, I'll continue to blab about sports media and sports politics and the progressive stuff I like to lecture others about. But I probably won't be president anymore.

It should be an unsettling idea to turn over the vision of the organization to hands that aren't my own. Surprisingly, I'm comfortable with it. Those who will be around next year are brilliant minds, capable leaders and role model students. The SMTSU's future is bright.

There's not much time to look back around here. But take a second, think about how far you've come, how much you've grown over the past year. I hope that in the year I oversaw the SMTSU you got a little bit smarter, saw a little bit more of the world and pushed yourself a little bit further.

If not, well, there's always next year.


Kevin Rossi is a senior Drexel Sport Management major with minors in Communications and Business Administration. Since joining the SMTSU, Kevin has worked his way up the ladder to President. Currently, Kevin is serving as the Sports Information Assistant for Drexel Athletics and  intern at Comcast SportsNet in web production. Kevin has writing experience with, The Triangle, Temple University, and various outlets in a freelance capacity. Follow Kevin on Twitter @kevin_rossi.

Connect with Kevin Rossi on LinkedIn.

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