During fall quarter, with the change to semesters on the horizon, Student Body President Will Buchanan and Vice President Chelsea Kendrick, both seniors, decided that change was needed within student government. They worked with Student Activities Board (SAB) and Presidential Board to determine the purpose of student government, how well they were meeting that purpose, and how they could improve. At the beginning of the month SAB presented a new model for student government at the quarterly Leadershop to the house boards, and the following week they presented the model at a public Student Senate in Wanamaker.

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David Miller / photo

Student Body President Will Buchanan (senior) speaks with members of house boards in the dining room at his final Leadershop.

A lot of time and thought went into the proposal, and Buchanan said that the new student government model includes “several modest but important upgrades that will help student government more efficiently and effectively serve students.” The model includes a smaller, more focused SAB, made up of the president, vice president, and one all-campus ecohead, metahead, and diversity head. The all-campus positions are welcome to run as pairs, though only one individual will report to SAB meetings.

The model will include a budget committee of rotating SAB and Presidential Board members to eliminate all the time each board currently spends discussing budgets. The plan will eliminate SAB’s treasurer position, which is covered by the paid student funds administrator, and the all-campus social head, whose job is covered by paid social event planners. It will also move the scholastic and technology heads to representative positions outside of SAB, as neither has active participation at the house level.

Furthermore, the new model contains three new representative positions: a club representative, who will monitor club activities and budget use and serve on the budget committee; a communications representative, who will update the student government website and bulletin board, among other things; and an admissions representative, who will serve on the Application Committee and help involve student government with the college visiting process. These positions are independent and have no place on house boards.

Overall, the proposal irons out several weaknesses in the current student government system for better efficiency at every level. Buchanan added, “We’re very excited to leave a better student government model to the next generation of student leaders.”