A vehicle for change. That’s what Eric Reznicek hoped to be throughout his time as UNL’s student body president.
After three years in various positions on the staff and a full term as president of the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska, Reznicek said he is happy with what he and his team were able to accomplish.
“I knew going in that I wasn’t going to be able to do a lot of projects,” the senior marketing and finance major said. “But it’s through my work that I get to help 50 or 60 kids do what they want to accomplish.
“That was the best part.”
Reznicek got his start early with ASUN, running with the Action Party his freshman year for the Committee for Fees Allocation. His sophomore year, Reznicek worked as an ASUN intern and was a member of the enrollment management council. His junior year, he worked as a member of the communication committee and the academic planning committee until he ran for ASUN president in the spring of his junior year with the Engage Party.
While Reznicek strayed from the usual path to presidency — committee member, to senator, to chair of a committee, to leadership — he said his experience through different positions helped him get an idea of what he would or would not be able to accomplish during his term.
With current seniors Jeff Story and Kaitlin Coziahr, Reznicek and the rest of ASUN’s leadership team hopes to make strides across three platforms – sustainability, academics and involvement, he said.
For the sustainability platform, the team created the “Do it in the Dark Program,” a competition between living units to compete to see who could save the most energy.
“This year will really act as a pilot program and it will be up to future ASUN leaders to continue the efforts,” Reznicek said.
The program kicks off April 2 and will be a competition between UNL and other Big Ten schools.
To fulfill the academic platform, the group hoped to expand the Nebraska College Preparatory Academy to south Omaha, but Reznicek said he didn’t realize the expense involved in the initiative. This was the only platform the group was not able to accomplish during their term.
A few individual projects that did not get accomplished this year included a bus program from travelling students, similar to the MegaBus that could take students from Lincoln to Chicago and other cities. There was also talk of creating standard teacher evaluations for every college, instead of each college doing their own independent evaluation, he said.
“A lot of projects don’t even get to the drawing board,” Reznicek said. “Time frame is a big problem because the fall semester is really your most productive.”
Involvement was something leaders wanted to get going on campus this fall, Reznicek said, so they focused their efforts on working with Recognized Student Organizations, or RSOs, to make sure anyone can start their own RSO. They also hoped to increase the number of organizations in good standing with the university. This year, at least 20 new groups were started on campus, he said.
“We want everyone to be able to be involved with something they’re interested in,” Reznicek said.
That includes getting more students to be active within student government, he said.. Reznicek said he was surprised when only one party ran for ASUN this year after he saw his staff working closer with students.
“There’s still that massive question mark,” he said. “What is that we can do to get people involved?”
Outside of the party’s platforms, ASUN was able to pass the student code of conduct through both their own office and the faculty senate. As long as it is passed by the Board of Regents, that will be a 12 year project accomplished, Renickek said.
With the Ignite Party coming into ASUN office next, Reznicek said he is excited to see what projects they are able to bring to the table and hopes they will be able to continue projects that were started this year, including finding ways to increase student involvement.
Juan Franco, vice chancellor for student affairs, said Reznicek showed stellar leadership abilities during his term as president.
“(Eric) has made every attempt to represent the entire student body by reaching out to as many students and student organizations as he could,” Franco said. “Under his leadership, ASUN has approved changes to the Student Code of Conduct, is working on having the largest number of students participate in the Big Event in the history of the event and has led efforts to discuss and enhance inclusivity at UNL.
“He will do well in his career and will make us all proud that he is a UNL alumnus.”