Reunion Celebrates 70 Years of Pupil Rule at IU Bloomington: Information at IU: Indiana College
“Ted and I have really learned how important it is to listen to people with your point of view, with a different point of view or without a point of view as leaders,” said Helmke. “My time in student government taught me how to handle pressure, which made me a better mayor and prepared me to lobby for gun control.”
Thanks to the political turmoil and negative connotations with government power during the Najam and Helmke era, student leaders renamed their organization the Indiana University Student Association between 1974 and 1975 and were known as such until that academic year. Hopkins told returning alumni that the organization believed the low turnout was due to students not knowing that the student union was, in fact, their student government.
Regardless of what the organization calls itself, these current and former members agree that a dedicated student government is necessary for a flourishing university. It brings a student voice to problems that can only be solved with the help of students, and it teaches leaders how to listen, persuade, how to compromise, how to speak publicly with confidence, and much more.
The student government also makes lifelong friendships, according to Najam. He and Helmke have kept in touch over the years since graduating, and now that they both live in Bloomington they meet at least monthly for lunch.
“The university needs more and more support through alumni contributions as government contributions decrease in proportion to the university’s needs,” said Najam. “The best time to get in touch with alumni is when they are on campus as students and organizations like the student government and the student foundation instill a lasting love for IU in their members.”