A.S. Council passed bylaws for a new Sophomore Class Council at its meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 15. The bylaws allow for the creation of a sophomore class council pilot program under the Office of College Affairs. The mission of the council, according to the language of the bylaws, is to represent “all sophomore students in an effort to generate a sense of a unified identity and amplify voices of the sophomore class.”
Former AVP College Affairs Meena Kaushik originally presented the idea for class councils to A.S. Council last year. Current AVP College Affairs Travis Miller took over the project with the previous First Year Council when he assumed office. He is currently working on creating the new council with about half of the members of last year’s First Year Council.
“We have a good amount of interest to fill an executive structure, but will be recruiting,” Miller said. “We’re completely, 100 percent in building mode. We’re probably five or six weeks behind where we needed to be, but I have a good and committed staff that’s very much on top of it.”
Duties and responsibilities of the sophomore council, as outlined in the bylaws, are to “provide programming and resources,” to “meet weekly,” and “provide guidance and information to students” of the sophomore class.
The need for a Sophomore Class Council became very apparent to Miller during the beginning of Fall Quarter 2014, when many sophomores asked him how they can get involved as second-year students.
“When the language was first proposed, there was a lot of uncertainty of the need for the council,” Miller said. “People didn’t want a tenth voting government, but this is not necessarily a voting body. We asked people what they struggled with as sophomores and what were their needs, and I think people realized it’s viable.”
Another issue was how the council will be funded; according to Miller, the council is looking into an innovation fund grant from the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and is hoping that they will not have to use A.S. funding.
Miller also said that the Sophomore Class Council and A.S. Council will probably reassess the language of the bylaws in a few quarters to identify what worked and what did not. Because the council is a pilot program, it will be reassessed before Miller terms out of A.S. Council.
“There’s more pressure on our end to do well because we could end up on the chopping block,” Miller said. “But our hope is that this will turn into a Junior Class Council and eventually could matriculate into a Senior Class Council and that we could have all four councils staffed and ready to go. If this works then hopefully we can pilot a new Junior Class Council in two quarters.”
Miller hopes to have the new body set by Week 7 or Week 8 of this quarter, and then plans to begin work on a career fair with the Career Services Center, internships and graduate schools, tailored specifically towards second-year students.
“My entire office is excited; it’s more work, but it’s work that we enjoy,” Miller said. “I’m very optimistic that this will be successful and that we’ll be able to have junior and senior councils as well.”