Sometimes, opportunity is created through hard work. Other times, it just presents itself.
Back on May 28, I happened to visit the Villanova alumni website recently to look for upcoming events. On the homepage was a call for alumni nominees for the University Senate. I posted the opportunity to apply for the upcoming election in a Sun's Arizin thread that day.
After some consideration, I felt inspired to throw my own hat into the ring. I love Villanova and all it has given to me, and I feel this is some way (albeit small) that I can begin to repay the school and ensure that future generations have as great of an opportunity as I did. Further, I want to represent the more recent graduates of the school (per the website, the youngest current alumni Senator graduated in 2003), as we are more aware of what the current Villanova experience is like.
Introduction to the University Senate
For those who are not familiar (and I admit I was one of those initially), the University Senate is an advisory committee to the Board of Trustees and Father Peter regarding important decisions and policies. The Senate is comprised of faculty, staff, administration, students, and alumni. There are a handful of meetings during the academic year (normally Friday afternoons) where the entire Senate meets. In addition, there are several subcommittees to which Senators can be appointed, including Budget, Academic Policy, and (yes) Athletics.
While there are some unknowns (discussed later), it is clear to me the Senate does not enact any binding changes, rather to provide another perspective for the decision makers. It also does not appear that there is much interaction provided between Senators and "constituents" (as there would be in a government, for example).
Of course, you are probably wondering how this would play into Villanova Athletics and its future (I don't need to mention the specifics).
As I have emphasized in prior comments, while basketball is part of the entire Villanova experience, with the successes it has had in the past three decades, it has grown to become a valuable "tool" that the University can and should use to increase name recognition (especially outside the Northeast), maintain alumni connections, and generate donations to the University
I believe the basketball program, like any physical or intangible asset, requires "cultivation" and maintenance so that it can not only capitalize on its past successes but also maintain the level of success it has enjoyed. This is especially crucial now with the ever growing power of FBS conferences. Just relying on the status quo is not enough anymore; sufficient resources need to be devoted to the program to meet its needs as it grows.
That said, these resources need to also be used prudently, and I would intend to advise the University to be careful stewards of what it has. Things can shift quickly in the world (as we have all seen), so the risks of any project or change must be identified and considered.
I feel I do need to offer some caveats to this community regarding the Senate position:
- I am going into this not knowing what we would discuss, how much influence the Senate has on the Board of Trustees, and how much of what the Senate reviews would need to remain confidential.
- While there will supposedly be alumni vacancies this year on the Athletics subcommittee, I do not know how representatives are selected and which, if any, committees I would be eligible to join. Given my career background, I might better serve the Senate on a different committee more relevant to my skills.
For all that I am not sure I would be able to do if elected, I can assure you I would continue to read this site and participate to the extent that I can.
Now for the hard part: getting elected. From speaking with our own Brian Ewart, who had run in a prior Senate election, the election is not well publicized. As a result, I am running a "get out the vote" campaign on social media. This is where I need your help.
Voting is open until next Wednesday (June 24) at Noon. The voting link is below. While you do not need to be registered on the alumni website, you will be asked for your name, degree(s)/year(s) of graduation, and e-mail address on file with Villanova.
If you can't vote online, you can request a paper ballot by calling 800-VILLANOVA.
There are two open seats, so I believe the top two vote-getters will win.
So you can identify me, below is my full candidate statement:
My name is Nicholas Carosella. I graduated from Villanova in 2007 with an undergraduate degree in Finance and again in 2008 with a Master’s of Science in Finance. I currently work as an investment analyst for an insurance company in Delaware. I still live in the Philadelphia area and remain close to the university (especially through St. Thomas of Villanova parish). I am also a member of Villanova’s Young Alumni Circle.
Veritas, Unitas, and Caritas are not just ideals I embraced while I was a student; they remain an integral part of my daily life. I was very active in Campus Ministry as a student, and I continue to remain active in the community as a volunteer. I am Treasurer of the Lemon Society of Philadelphia, a young professionals arm of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. I also continue to mentor the young man who I met over a decade ago through Campus Ministry’s Bigs & Littles program.
I am running for University Senate to try to return and carry forward some of the vast amount that Villanova has given me, and to ensure it continues to give as much to past, present, and future Villanovans. I believe I bring a unique and fresh perspective as a young alum, and would be honored to represent the needs and vision of recent graduates and current students. I also bring experience as a former student in both Villanova’s undergraduate and graduate programs, and as a professional with a finance & accounting background (where I will encourage prudent stewardship of Villanova’s resources).
I will work hard to ensure Villanova remains a strong Augustinian community while helping it identify and address challenges as a modern academic institution. I sincerely appreciate your support.
If you want to read more on the University Senate, I have posted the link below.
You can also go back and read minutes from past Senate and subcommittee meetings (though some have not been updated in quite a while). I will note there is some discussion on FBS football in the athletics minutes - you might be surprised (or not) at some of the notes in the last posted minutes.
Thank you in advance for your support.