Interim University President B. Joseph White mingled with students at a reception last night in the Michigan Union ballroom to address student concerns about their experiences on campus.

Paul Wong
Interim University President B. Joseph White gets acquainted with students at a reception in his honor in the Michigan Union Ballroom yesterday afternoon. (LAURIE BRESCOLL/Daily)

Most of the evening’s attendees came to learn a little about White and what his job entails.

Engineering junior Evan Pollack said, “It shows he has a genuine interest in his job that he took the time to meet us.”

Residence Halls Association President and Engineering junior Tim Winslow came to the reception because he “never got the opportunity to meet (former President Lee) Bollinger and see how he interacts with students.”

Specific student concerns about the University, including questions about the Graduate Employees Organization, came up in the conversations with White.

“I think GSIs deserve fair treatment. They need to put a stop to bottom line budgeting and create childcare,” Kinesiology freshman Pete Woiwode said.

RC sophomore and Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality member Sarah Schwartz Sax said she wanted to get White’s personal perspective on why the University is taking a long time to settle their negotiations with the GEO.

Education graduate student and Students of Color of Rackham member Xavier Corona said he wanted to “meet President White so we can start working together to promote student success … and bypass the middle man in communicating student concerns.”

Students were interested in having input in what the new president should be like.

“I’d like to see some sort of commitment from the administration with sustainability issues,” Schwartz Sax said. “We have an enormous ecological footprint on our area and a great responsibility to foster our environment.”

“(White’s) really in tune with students,” Panhellenic Association President and LSA junior Monica Rose said. “It’s really refreshing that he replies individually to e-mails. His actions speak a lot louder than words.”

Some other students wanted to know what White does outside of the president’s office.

“I hope he’s a runner and I want to find out if he does the 5K fun run,” said LSA sophomore Dustin Oswald.

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