The future of student-led policymaking is at stake, along with responsible and efficient policymaking during the 2017-2018 term.
The vote is coming up soon — beginning March 1 and concluding March 3 at 4:30 p.m. — and to encourage you to participate, I’ll first explain what Campus Council is, and then make a case for nine specific candidates.
Campus Council was created by the Board of Trustees as a policymaking body with jurisdiction over two large areas: first, Council controls student organizations and clubs. This gives Council authority over how the student activity fee is used, along with control over the charter review processes.
Second, Council is responsible for student conduct policy within the Scot’s Key and other documents, along with how employees, from faculty to Security, should interact with students.
Despite these broad powers, however, the entirety of Campus Council exists at the generosity of the Board of Trustees. As long as the Board of Trustees maintains the full power of Campus Council, it will remain one of the most powerful student policymaking bodies on any college campus. The far-reaching impact that this body has on the student body, along with its fragility in the hands of the Trustees, makes this election crucial.
When you vote, you’ll select four at-large candidates and one issue seat candidate for each seat. All nine Council seats are contested, with over 20 candidates total.
After attending both candidate forums and being an at-large candidate myself, I’ve found that candidates fall into two groups: 1) Those running exclusively to protect Greek groups or for another specific or narrow issue, and 2) Those running to protect every student and student organization on campus, including Greek organizations.
With an all Greek Council, we’ll be unable to fairly review Greek charters. The Trustees would no longer see this body as legitimate, and the power to review charters would be taken from Council and given to a few individuals in the administration.
To ensure these goals are met, a collection of candidates has formed the Progress Coalition, a group of the nine most qualified, passionate and diverse individuals to represent the student body next year.
The coalition includes one incumbent, four candidates in the Greek community, and two candidates holding SGA seats. These candidates include Jordan Griffith ’19, Eric Guberman ’19, Isaac Forman Weiss ’20, and myself for the at-large seats, and Marina Dias Lucena Adams ’19, both Kiley Kinnard ’18 and Vrinda Trivedi ’18, Cameron Steckbeck ’19, Ethan Barham ’18 and Abby Donohue ’20 for the International Diversity, Gender and Sexual Diversity, Service and Civic Engagement, Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Selective Organizations issue seats, respectively.
Equipped with a clear understanding of Campus Council’s role and a wide array of specific policy proposals, we are prepared to represent the entire student body.
The policy goals of the coalition include proactive sexual misconduct measures, protecting group charters from the administration, increasing funding for student groups, securing ease of living for international students over breaks, and increasing awareness for the activities of Campus Council.
I want to encourage you to vote for the aforementioned candidates, who I believe will keep power in the hands of the students by preserving the legitimacy of Campus Council. With your vote, they will move Wooster forward together. Nick Shiach, a Contributing Writer for the Voice, can be reached for comment at NShiach20@wooster.edu.