by Alonso Velasquez
Central Connecticut State University welcomed President Zulma Toro at a reception held in Alumni Hall on Jan. 19th.
CCSU faculty and students filled the tables set up in Alumni Hall to enjoy finger foods, have the opportunity to mingle with each other and meet the new president for themselves.
The ceremony was open to the public, which resulted in many in the CCSU community taking the opportunity to meet Toro.
Many in attendance spoke of their hopes and expectations for the incoming president.
Student Chris Morales hopes that the new president will “improve student retention and support Greek life.”
CCSU Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Zdzislaw Kremens explained that, being an engineer himself, he likes that Toro “is an engineer. She is very energetic. I think she will be a very good president.”
Freshman Akai Long hopes that she fosters innovation. “She said that her plan involved a new building that CCSU recently purchased. I hope she has an active presence, as the predecessor didn’t.”
“I hope most of all that she has an open door policy, and is a transparent and accessible president,” said Student Government Association (SGA) Chair of Academic Affairs Wyatt Bosworth. “This is what truly causes positive change. She came to the student government meeting yesterday and sat down with us for an hour. She met with clubs and organizations. She cares deeply about getting student input and that’s a good first sign.”
“If we have a direct line of communication between the leadership of the university and the students, then we can collaborate and move the institution to be what we need to be,” said Toro at the SGA meeting on Jan. 18th.
“Things I hope she can improve on, would be for her to maintain a good relationship with the legislature of the governor’s office, we’re facing very big budget cuts this year,” said Bosworth. “The state needs to see her be an effective, transformative president, so they can continue to invest in this institution. And I hope that she keeps a high standard for academics, and funds our student activities appropriately.”
“We are going to make the case for Central once again to see if we can somehow at least maintain the current support from the state. We will continue to advocate for Central, because we are helping the students,” said Toro during the SGA meeting, in regards to the university budget.
Student Jose Diaz said Toro could help the Latino community. “At CCSU, there is a lot that can be done. So I think the expectation is to help the immigrant community and having more resources and being open to talking with students.”
CCSU Latin American Student Organization (LASO) co-director Awilda Reasco said, “I would like the support of Dr. Toro to enhance our diversity, because CCSU is in the backyard of Hartford and New Britain and we have so many talented young students of color, Latino, African American, low income students that we need to reach out, by giving access to them.”
The gala was part of a string of events intended to help Toro learn more about the CCSU community. The day prior to the event, she spoke for an hour to the SGA, and LASO also hosted an event for her.
Toro is CCSU’s 13th president, succeeding Dr. Jack Miller, and officially started her term on Jan. 3rd.