What it takes to be FUSA president

Vogel, election night
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Vogel, election night 2012. Photo by Nicholas DiFazio (The Mirror).

With a year and a half’s worth of FUSA presidential duties behind him, you would think Rob Vogel finally has time to relax.

Not quite.

The senior has represented the FUSA organization since Charlie Knights ’12 stepped down early from his presidential post in December 2011. Last spring, a Mirror article showed just how much the job really entails. At the time, Vogel said he was averaging five to six hours of administrative meetings a day, not to mention two hours of email correspondences, a job – and of course – classes.

Towards the end of his term, Vogel is still as busy as ever, with a job at a law firm in Trumbull on top of meetings with the FUSA advisor and other top administrators.

Vogel wouldn’t change his experience, though he acknowledges that the level of commitment that it takes can be daunting at times.

“I knew it was the most commitment I’d have to give to anything,” he says. “I feel like I’ve lost a bit of individuality as a student… I’m not ‘Rob the Student,’ but ‘Rob the FUSA President,’ and I am always wearing that hat no matter what, out Friday night or at a meeting,” Vogel explains.

Reflecting back on his time as FUSA president, however, Vogel is proud of what he has been able to accomplish.
“It’s good with all of this election stuff happening that we’re getting a quick chance to give ourselves a pat on the back for the things we’ve been able to accomplish so far,” Vogel says.

Most of FUSA’s success has come from finding “common sense solutions to Fairfield’s annoying problems.” Alex Long, a senator from the class of 2014, helped implement extended library hours in the week leading into finals, a change that students utilized and will likely happen again this semester.

Dining hall hours were also a long battle that FUSA finally helped resolve. “For students getting out of class at 7:30, the extra half hour means a lot,” Vogel explains.
He also remarked that bringing to campus guests that interested students – like the fall concert acts of Diplo and Krewella and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith – was among the programming board’s biggest successes.

“Having a concert that nearly sells out is a huge success from what we’ve seen in the previous years,” he said. In addition, “Prez Ball sold over 2,200 tickets, and FUSA was a driving force behind that.”

Raising the bar from past fall concerts and Presidential Balls is necessary, and Vogel’s advice to the next FUSA president is to keep Fairfield’s traditions, but  to also incorporate a new and unique vision.

“There’s a lot we do year after year that is good and traditional, but you should be able to take the things that have happened and make them better. The wants and needs will be changing … decide if [certain things] should be moved on and what students want at that time, have your own vision and not that of anyone else,” Vogel advises.

Students will choose whose vision they want to lead the school in next week’s elections. Juniors Sam Maxfield and Alex Long are running for president, with Joe McConville ‘14 and Alex Cucchi ‘15 running for vice president.

The future of FUSA’s leadership will be decided next Tuesday, Feb. 26. Polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and the Ham Channel will air the election results live starting at 8 p.m.

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