Student Government Inauguration Speech to the Student Assembly Jan 22, 2009
The challenge of your times…
We are gathered for the first time in our short school history to inaugurate, formally for the first time, our Student Government. The Student Government of CSS can and must play a major role in the building of our school as it aspires to academic greatness, as it strengthens the unique characteristics of our community, and as it asserts our own cultural values and priorities.
You have been called upon, by your fellow students, to lead the way – to represent the students, to be their voice, to make decisions, and yes even to spend public funds. In some ways you have the same responsibility as President Obama and his team. You even have similar challenges – tight finances, significant and critically important needs, and a challenging and deteriorating social and economic situation….
I hope you use your power wisely: for the betterment of student life, for the enrichment of our learning experience, for improving our culture and strengthening our community. This is your job and your responsibility.
I leave you now, with some excerpts of Presidents Obama’s inauguration speech which I found particularly relevant to you, our student leaders, as you embark on this most important assumption of civic responsibilities; but also to the students of CSS, on whose shoulders will rest a significant part of the challenges of this generation, challenges that our new president so eloquently expressed two days ago...
“For everywhere we look, there is work to be done.”
“We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do.”
“To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.”
“…. our success depends on the values — honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task…..”
….students of the CSS government may you have the strength and courage to use your knowledge and reason and lead our students, and our community, through the difficult but exciting and rewarding task that awaits us all…