A light evening haze hung over the Long Island Sound. Overlooking it, a small bustle was about in Bellarmine Hall. President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., opened his office and other rooms for guests to browse. Next to the patio the ceremony began.
Last year, Robert Vogel ’13 was inaugurated as Fairfield University Student Association (FUSA) president for the 2012-13 term. Tonight, it was Alexander Long ‘14’s turn to be sworn in on the ornate red Bible. Von Arx had taken a medal from a glass case in his office, to be worn by Long.
“Although it wasn’t my goal when I was a freshman here at Fairfield University, it quickly became my passion,” Long said of his achievement in an acceptance speech.
The room was crowded with Fairfield administrators, family and FUSA’s newest student leaders. “We express our gratitude to God for the friends and family of the new student leaders,” said von Arx in his opening prayer.
Lining the back of the room were FUSA presidents from decades past.
Anthony Mixcus ’75 recalled his time in Long’s position: “The hardest part of being FUSA President, quite honestly, it’s really balance. It’s balance with responsibility of being FUSA president. It’s balance you have as a student and I don’t think that’s changed.
“Obviously there’s been a lot of changes from a technological standpoint. I heard at the inauguration Alex was given a password to Twitter so you know that was nonexistent in my time.”
After the ceremony, Long posted his first tweet as president: a picture of him wearing the Fairfield medal with the hashtags “#FirstTweet” and “#OneChain.”
Junior Christopher Moran is one of Long’s roommates. Knowing Long since their freshman year, he did not expect this fate. “It is wild I didn’t think he would do it but now that we’re here and the whole ceremony happened it’s very surreal. I’m proud of him – it’s big. He is out and about all the time. He always has meetings, he’s also cleaning our house up, giving us orders to do so. He definitely has the presidential role set down.”
Elizabeth Long and her family made the trip from New Jersey for the ceremony. She knew her son was capable for the position. “As a young child, someone would call and if I wasn’t home, my other kids would say, ‘Oh she’s not home, call back later.’ He would say, ‘Oh how are you? How are things going? How’s your day going?’ So he was always like a politician,” she said.
“It’s exciting – we’re all very excited that he wants to take on this role. It’s going to be a lot of work … I think he’ll be good.”
Director of Student Involvement Fred J. Kuo is in some ways FUSA’s father. After a restructuring of student activity staff last summer, “we sort of streamlined everything and my main role is to support FUSA. So, yes, I’m like the dad. It’s kind of like a single parent household,” he joked.
“It’s a good group that we’re losing which is unfortunate because they’ve been here many of them for four years,” Kuo said. Most on the 2012-13 executive board have been in place for two years. Many are sophomores which means there’s potential for them to be in leadership positions for two or three years.
“I’m excited for the new group I think Alex is going to be a good president. I think Rob has actually been a little undersold as FUSA president. I think he’s had a terrific presidency in the year and a half that he’s been FUSA president. We’re going to miss him. I think people underestimate the impact that he’s had in the past two years.
Chair of Programming-elect Lindsay Hanley ‘15 who has served on the programming committee for special events echoed Kuo: “The Exec. Board this year was fantastic. They were so committed we could go to them for anything. I think that FUSA this year has really started to create a great name for itself and we hope to continue that next year hopefully – we have a lot to live up to with the concert.
“I’m definitely nervous but they’ve set such a great example for all of us and we’re invested in it too. Literally we all say we could not imagine our Fairfield experience without being on FUSA now because it’s been such a huge part of our lives here and I think that we are all ready for the challenge of filling in their shoes.” FUSA has already begun talks with its agent to plan the fall concert.
After almost 40 years since his inauguration as FUSA president, Mixcus finds that the organization experience alone did not carry him after graduation. “I think what’s really had an impact was Fairfield University itself. I was here for four years, met a lot of wonderful people, still stay in contact with my roommate. We actually were roommates from day one at Fairfield. Father Thomas R. Fitzgerald S.J. was president at the time. I learned a lot from him.”
In addition to Long and Hanley, the following students were also inaugurated:
- Alexander Cucchi ‘15, Vice President of FUSA
- Samuel Maxfield ‘14, Chair of the Senate
- Janice Herbert ‘15, Chair of the Council of Student ORganizations
- Justin Furtado ‘14, Secretary of Treasury
- Jeannine Nocera ‘15, Secretary of Marketing & Public Relations