Isabel Espinosa

Contributing Writer

Campus Council (CC) is one of the two governing bodies on campus, the other being the Student Government Association (SGA). Recently, the six standing committees — Budget, Charter, Outreach, Elections, Conduct and Memorandum — elected their new chairs for the upcoming school year. The committees work together to create legislation within student life and other extracurriculars. Membership is open to all members of the College community and meetings are held every Thursday at 11 a.m.

Despite the hard work of the Outreach Committee, many Wooster students are still not familiar with CC and what they do for campus. This is just one of the things that the recently elected chair of CC, Halen Gifford ’21, is hoping to improve upon this year. 

“This year, Campus Council is continuing our efforts to be more transparent and accessible,” Gifford said. “We are [also] revising our memorandum to better reflect updated policies and the roles of the student constituency representatives.” 

However, since it is still early in the year, she anticipates more goals to emerge as the semester continues. She emphasized that CC is made up of an accomplished group of students that have the potential to be successful chairs.

Each student on CC is a member of two committees, and only student representatives can chair CC committees. The process to become a chair is a fairly informal one, but CC is looking to formalize it.

“It’s a pretty informal process simply because there is usually not a lot of contention for it. It was an internal discussion [within the committee] and then we just decide,” said Matt Mayes ’20, chair of the Budget Committee.

This year’s co-chair of Outreach, Seven Townsel ’22, has goals of her own for both the committee and CC as a whole. The Outreach Committee aims to inform the student body about CC and the issues each committee is working on using different social media platforms as well as press releases and posters. 

Townsel wishes to improve the transparency between CC and the rest of campus, targeting student organizations that have historically been neglected when it comes to receiving important information. In addition, Townsel would “love for the student body to know what is going on at all times without them having to go out of their way to figure it out.”

The chairs of the committees have weekly meetings with Scott Brown, dean of students and vice president of Student Affairs, in order to discuss potential problems within the student body and how to best solve them. 

CC and SGA will work closely with each other and although there are very few policies that require the bodies to work together, members of CC and SGA often feel that they grow as leaders when they do.

“The relationship between CC and SGA is really whatever the leadership decides to make it,” Gifford said. “This year, CC and SGA have a joint task force that is working to evaluate the roles of the two bodies [in order to] increase the success [of both organizations].”

Mayes is looking forward to working closer with SGA this year. He believes they will be able to come up with new and better ways for student government to function at Wooster. In addition, he hopes to “continue the conversation regarding changing the student allocations fee and looking to get student input on the idea.” 

The Budget Committee is typically responsible for approving budget reallocation requests, makes recommendations to CC regarding the budget, and proposes new policies to CC about funding for student organizations.

“We have some great people who are ready to step up to the responsibilities of their committees, including some incredible student leaders who have already shown pretty great initiative so far,” Mayes said. “I think they’re all talented and will get stuff done. I know a lot of them already started their own initiatives for committees to improve the functioning.”