Connealy sworn in as Student Senate president

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2006 Student Senate officers are from left, Dan Connealy, president; Drew Klinkebiel, treasurer; Dave Carver, Student Senate adviser; and Michael Furasek, vice president. Not pictured: Josh Priluck, secretary.
Dan Connealy recently took the oath of office to become the 2006 UNMC Student Senate president. The third-year medical student from Chadron also will serve as the UNMC student representative on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

"This is a very exciting time to be a student at UNMC," Connealy said during Thursday's inauguration ceremony. "The campus is growing at a pace that's almost unimaginable."

UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D., administered the oath of office to Connealy and third-year medical student Michael Furasek of Lincoln, who will serve as Student Senate vice president. The 2006 Student Senate leadership team also includes: Josh Priluck of Omaha, secretary, and Drew Klinkebiel of Holbrook, treasurer.

On Thursday, Dr. Maurer also administered the oath to incoming Student Senate members, who Connealy said: "have the unique opportunity to chart the direction of this campus over the next couple of years."

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2006 Student Senate members rise to take the oath of office.
As president, Connealy wants to help increase faculty and staff salaries in order to retain the "excellent teachers and staff that we have." He also wants to increase the Student Senate's campus exposure, redesign its Web site, boost student social activities and continue the students' quest to build a swimming pool on campus. "We are a beacon for promoting healthy lifestyle," he said.

Dr. Maurer said Connealy and this year's Student Senate will be instrumental in helping UNMC leaders address legislative issues, improve faculty and staff salaries, work with a university wide fund-raising campaign, as well as address campus issues.

"We have been blessed with student regents who have done an outstanding job," Dr. Maurer said. "Serving on the Student Senate is the counterpart of serving on the Faculty Senate. These are two bodies I pay close attention to."

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UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D., right, with the outgoing Student Senate leadership team: vice president Mike Chapman, left, and president Nick Behrendt, center.
Dr. Maurer lauded outgoing Student Senate President Nick Behrendt for his leadership of the senate and his involvement with the regents.

"Last year has been an incredible experience," Behrendt said. "It has been a life-altering experience for me.Dr. Maurer is a perfect example of someone who can create a dream for a medical center and make it a reality."

Behrendt also will be remembered for his performance at the final Board of Regent's meeting when it is tradition to ask outgoing student regents to sing their school's fight song. Behrendt, undeterred by the fact that UNMC doesn't have a fight song, wrote his own lyrics. At the chancellor's prompting, he shared them once again during Thursday's senate inauguration.