Last Thursday, April 12, the Student Executive Council (SEC) gathered in the Pioneer room of Wade Commons at 6 p.m. for their semesterly student open forum. However, the forum showed absolutely no student presence.
Even though the forum could not be conducted without inquisitive students, the SEC had a discussion about some of the major issues and points of student interest within the past semester.
“The SEC exists to support the student voice, helping change happen on a grand scale and keeping other large organizations accountable to the students,” said Samantha Nardone, president of the Residence Hall Association (RHA).
“It is extremely important that the student body is engaged in what is happening on campus,” she said. “When student organizations in the SEC are not doing what they think is best for the students, it needs to be brought to the SEC’s attention.”
One of the hot topics was the posting policy, the campus guidelines for posting fliers and other types of advertising and public relations around campus. “The SEC identified that campus a few years ago was bombarded with fliers, and created the ‘PostCheck’ initiative,” Nardone said.
At a recent SEC meeting, the members decided to reward the Student Life committee’s request to take over the ‘PostCheck’ initiative. “James Hale will now be heading that effort and working to get it all completed for the start of next semester,” she said.
Another topic of interest was the lack of an SEC transition process. “There has been no formal process and no transfer of SEC budgeting issues or trends from year to year,” Nardone said.
The start of an official transition process will be “a first great step toward creating a consistent and historical account of what the SEC does each year and how that impacts each organization and the students.”
Nardone is creating the start of such a document to be passed on to future SEC members as well as the newly elected SEC chair Mara Gallagher, Executive President-elect of RHA, and SEC co-chair Christian Wargo, the senior class President-elect from the COC.
Lastly, the SEC raised the idea of creating a budget auditor. “Over the summer and the next semester I am sure the SEC will be investigating many of its functions to determine if a new process should be put in place,” Nardone said.
The idea of a budget auditor might be able to pull students from the Weatherhead School of Management, offering the opportunity to provide real-world experience for accounting majors to do a thorough budget audit as well as a presentation of their findings.
“Like all changes and discussions with the SEC, we encourage and want student involvement.” Nardone said. “There have been mentions of ways we can get more students that are excited about the SEC involved to ignite a change and excitement within the SEC meetings.”
Nardone and the SEC are open to any and all ideas on how to make the SEC more accessible to the student voice. Students are encouraged to send their questions, concerns, comments, ideas, and enthusiasm to the SEC chair.