Originally I greeted the news of President Urgo’s selection as the college’s new President with a sense of cynicism; especially considering the fuss that surrounded nominee James Bacchus and the Board of Trustee’s choice to pick their next candidate in closed Executive session, I expected another presidency marked by inaccessibility. So when I learned President Urgo wanted to set up weekly meetings with me to talk about the Point News and the general goings-on around campus, I was intrigued about what I believed would be a rare and cherished privilege to actually get to know our new President.
I’m very happy to say that it has turned out to be a far less rarefied privilege than I would’ve ever thought; it seems that Urgo has defied my expectations, and has made every attempt to connect with the college. Even better, I don’t think it’s just some half-baked attempt at photo-ops or something purely symbolic; from creating the President’s Forum and open hours at the Grind to restructuring his administrative cabinet to allow a more direct “chain of command”, Urgo seems genuinely and heavily invested in the dealings of this college and its student body. I must say that it is a welcome and refreshing change to have a President that I actually can see driving around campus on his Vespa or walking down the path, and it’s so novel that I believe many of us Upperclassmen are still a little in shock at having a President so visible and so accessible.
What’s perhaps even more exciting than all this, however, is that this ideology of accessibility and community has caught like wildfire across campus, as one can witness from initiatives like new Director of Public Safety Christopher Santiago’s own open hours and our new trustee spotlight (page 4). Never before have I seen so many sections of the administration interested in the Point News, which is obviously a huge boon for us, but I think is also indicative of this new mindset.
Granted, Urgo still stands as an untested President, and only time will show whether he can continue to be this open and this accessible in the face of the huge responsibilities that will begin to fall on him; I would hope that the job wouldn’t end up jading him like it might have with O’Brien. However, I believe what he has already done has given new life to this campus and this administration, and for that I am deeply grateful.