Newly elected members of Rutgers University Student Assembly sworn into office
Last night, the former president of the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA), Justin Schulberg, gave his final State of the Assembly Address to usher in the swearing-in ceremony for the newly elected leaders.
In his address, Schulberg discussed important accomplishments of RUSA during his time in office, as well as issues he believes should continue to be addressed.
The addressed issues and initiatives included sexual assault prevention, strides made in medical amnesty, Mental Health Task Force initiatives and sustainability.
Schulberg told The Daily Targum that although his leaving the assembly is emotional, he is confident that RUSA will continue to be increasingly successful.
“I’m so optimistic. This body has done incredible work. It’s pushed the Rutgers community forward and it’s bettered the student experience,” he said. “A lot of (the address), honestly, was just putting a couple of dents in chopping down that oak tree, it was making it so the next body could actually go and get that oak tree down, to finalize a lot of the work that we started.”
Schulberg said he is confident that the newly sworn-in leaders will continue to push RUSA to even greater accomplishments.
“With the incredible student leaders that are going to be sworn in today and were elected last week, RUSA is going to get a lot more done next year than they did this year,” he said.
Leaving RUSA is bitter-sweet, Schulberg said.
“While I’ll be glad to have a little more free time, the work that I did here was indispensable. I’m not going to stop helping students out and serving the community,” he said. “That won’t end with me not being RUSA president anymore, but it will definitely be emotional not to be showing up to the SAC at 7:30 on Thursdays, listening to the debates, seeing how passionate people are, so it’s definitely mixed emotions tonight.”
Following Schulberg’s State of the Assembly Address, the swearing-in ceremony of the newly elected members of RUSA took place.
When introducing Evan Covello as the new RUSA president, Schulberg said that Covello’s dedication to RUSA and the student body surpasses his own, and that time after time, Covello goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations of him.
“(Covello) is someone that we can trust, that we can respect and who will build on RUSA’s past accomplishments and who will take RUSA to where it hasn’t been before,” Schulberg said.
Evan Covello is the eleventh elected RUSA president and he told The Daily Targum that if it were not for the help of Schulberg, he would not be where he is today.
“(Schulberg) placed his faith in me to make me his vice president, and that’s something I can never repay him for,” he said. “Every experience and initiative that Justin went through, he took me along for the ride, and that taught me so much."
Covello said he plans on being in contact with and taking advice from Schulberg throughout the duration of his role as RUSA president.
“Time flies, and (Schulberg) is moving on to really make an impact in his professional career in the world, and he prepared us well,” he said.
One initiative of Schulberg’s that Covello said he intends to continue pushing for is the addition of a student vote on the Board of Governors.
Francesca Petrucci, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, was sworn in as a RUSA senator last night.
Petrucci said that she is excited to listen to the student body’s voice and work on things that they want to be done.
“I’ve never done this before, so I’m looking forward to working with everyone and getting a lot of good things done,” she said.
Petrucci was a part of the Rutgers Rise ticket and said that as long as the assembly is clear on what their goals are, then they will be able to accomplish great things.
“We campaigned on a lot of good things,” she said. “I hope we can really bring those to fruition.”
Stephen Weiss is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in philosophy. He is an associate news editor for The Daily Targum.