By Lauren Grimaldi
President Ali Malekzadeh will give the annual State of the University Address this week. The president will hold a Q&A for students, faculty and all other members of the community following the speech.
“This year’s State of the University forums with President Ali Malekzadeh will be general information sharing sessions,” a university spokesperson said. “All Roosevelt University community members, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends are encouraged to attend. Highlights will include news about the Chicago and Schaumburg Campuses, Roosevelt faculty members, notable achievements by faculty and staff, alumni and student success stories as well as updates regarding academic affairs.”
Last year, Malekzadeh touched on a number of vital topics in a trying time for the university. The current academic year has brought many of the same challenges for Malekzadeh to address.
Student Government Association President Alondra Ibarra said she hopes that the speech will show students how the changes at the university have helped.
“I am hoping to hear something positive from the State of the University Address. This whole year has been a big sacrifice for a lot of groups but primarily the students. A lot of changes and having to adapt to those changes has put a strain on the student body and I just want to know that these sacrifices we have been making as a student body were not in vain,” Ibarra said.
Ibarra also said she hopes that this speech encourages students to become involved in student government.
“I’m hoping that students hear something that inspires them to participate in Student Government and continue advocating for the students on a higher level. With all of the recent changes, there is nothing more important than a strong student government to reflect the voices of those who are going to be most affected,” Ibarra said.
Ibarra also believes that students can create change at the university through active participation in their student government.
“Despite all of the hard work the student government has done this year to turn the tide around and set a strong foundation for a better student government next year, there is still a lot of work to be done. In general I am hoping for a wake-up call from students to realize that this is where they have to be, not to come only once a semester to give constructive criticism (though that is welcome too) or an email when something goes wrong. Active student participation in Student Government will be what starts giving our students a more positive RU experience,” Ibarra said.
The past year has been one of change at Roosevelt. As the university looks ahead to the conclusion of this semester and the upcoming academic year, members of the community will have a chance to hear from Malekzadeh about the past changes and other issues currently facing Roosevelt.
In the address last year, Malekzadeh outlined concerns about enrollment, the budget deficit, and retention. He also made it clear that the university was planning to cut positions if necessary. Malekzadeh said in the address that the university is looking for prospective students that will be successful at the university if they decide to attend.
The Torch reported at the time that the atmosphere during the address was particularly tense as students, professors and staff listened to the president outline the many challenges the university is facing.
Near the conclusion of his speech last year, Malekzadeh reassured students and faculty about the university’s troubles.
“We’ll go through these challenging times, and we’ll emerge stronger,” Malekzadeh said in last year’s speech. “Inclusion and the power of social justice underscores our efforts to provide the best possible education to our students so that they can enjoy productive and meaningful careers and become leaders who positively impact the American community.”
President Malekzadeh will speak in the Congress Lounge at 10 a.m. on Feb 21.