Student body president and vice president speak during State of the University address

The pair gave the address for the first time during their administration.


Student Body President Michael Cairo talks to the crowd about his administration’s student voter registration program. Craig Ries | Contributing Photographer

Ryan Lynch, Editor in Chief


On Wednesday, Student Body President Michael Cairo and Vice President Juliana Walters spoke during the Student Government State of the University address in the recruiting room at Florida Atlantic University Stadium.

Florida Atlantic Board of Trustees Chairman Anthony Barbar, Vice President for Student Affairs Corey King and members of Cairo’s Administrative Cabinet were among the crowd of around 50 people. Several members of Cairo’s family, including his parents, were also in attendance.

“I’m the seventh in my family to go to FAU,” Cairo said. “There are three of them here tonight so my whole family bleeds red and blue, it’s awesome.”

Walters started the event by bringing up some of the projects Student Government took on during the fall.

This included bringing back and revising the old 24-hour tailgate as the “Nocturnal Tailgate,” which took place the night before the first home game from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

On top of that, the two hosted and sponsored events related to registering voters for the presidential race. According to Cairo, the sponsored events led to about 800 students being registered.

“We have the distinct privilege to live in this great nation where one of our democratic principles is to vote,” Walters said. “… showing students you don’t necessarily have to be about a party, you can be about an issue … It’s been pretty pivotal this year.”

Cairo and Walters also brought up their attempts to perform more outreach within the university.

To increase student attendance of FAU football’s away game versus the Miami Hurricanes, the pair bought 100 tickets, which students could claim on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Student Government office. They also helped plan memorial events after the Pulse Nightclub shooting on June 12.

Student Government Vice President Juliana Walters speaks to event attendees about how her and Student Body President Michael Cairo met. Craig Ries | Contributing Photographer
Student Body Vice President Juliana Walters speaks to event attendees about how her and Student Body President Michael Cairo met. Craig Ries | Contributing Photographer

During the week of the shooting, Cairo went door to door in Innovation Village Apartments with resident assistants to check on students and make sure they knew about the available counseling services on campus.

“Going out there and being able to have them talk to us and say, ‘Thank you for making sure we’re OK,’ was really rewarding for me,” he said.

Cairo also brought up University President John Kelly’s 10-year plan of development at the university and a need for Student Government to help further his goals.

“I think our ideas are compatible with his,” Walters said. “One thing for me is showcasing our academic institutions and improving them … getting out to students and saying, ‘What have you seen in academics is lacking? What programs do you want to see offered?’”

Walters says her interest lies in building and improving the language programs at FAU.

“We’re going to be working with some of our academic deans and some members of the Board of Trustees to be advocates for that,” she said.

As one of the 13 board members, Cairo wants to make sure students are aware of how the Board of Trustees works and acts on their behalf.

“I think a lot of times the student body president doesn’t properly communicate what’s going on with the Board of Trustees, and that opportunity we have to sit on that board is unbelievable,” he said. “I really want to play my part on the board and keep the students in the loop, let them know what’s going on because we’re talking about an $800 million dollar company called FAU here.”

Ryan Lynch is the editor in chief of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @RyanLynchwriter.