Student government pursues new committee members

Megan Greig, Contributing Writer

Allegheny Student Government is currently seeking students to fill positions on the College Committee Council, a group of six committees designed to give students, faculty and community members more direct communication with administration as well as the opportunity to better influence official school policy.

The committees include Finance and Facilities, Council on Diversity and Equity, Public Events, Academic Standards and Awards, Curriculum Committee and the Campus Life and Community Standards Board.

ASG’s chief of staff for the 2015-2016 school year, Sofia Kaufman, ’17, is in charge of overseeing each of the committees in the CCC and has been conducting the search for new committee members since late August of this year. This responsibility was added to the duties of the ASG chief of staff position in 2014. Passion, diversity and commitment are the main characteristics Kaufman is searching for.

“I don’t care if you’re an art history major,” said Kaufman. “If you’re really passionate about the finance committee, that’s great. I’m looking for that. I want someone who’s dedicated to it.”

Andrew Skelly, ’17,  said he applied for his position on the Curriculum Committee a year ago to become involved in more diverse ways around campus. The Curriculum Committee’s agenda includes approving courses requested by professors, updating requirements for majors, and reviewing student designed majors and minors. Skelly believes any student who is considering applying for a position should go for it.

“It’s a unique experience that not a lot of people get to have.” Skelly said. “You get to learn a bunch of new things.”

Each of the committees on the College Committee Council consists of between two and five students and one or two faculty or administrative personnel. The committees will meet weekly to discuss issues and events relating to the responsibilities of the group and the student representatives report the results of these meetings back to the ASG chief of staff on a biweekly basis. Kaufman acknowledges that she does not have access to all of the things that go on behind the closed doors of the committee meetings.

“There’s a high sense of confidentiality that goes along with serving on a CCC,” Kaufman said.

Students, faculty and administration are given the opportunity to have important and sometimes difficult conversations concerning the decisions that must be made about various aspects of the way Allegheny is run as an institution.

As a member of the Curriculum Committee, Skelly said he enjoys being a voice for the student population and participating in the discussions behind the major decisions made about the school. The biweekly meetings are a great way to hear about progress in other parts of the CCC as well.

“We have meetings every other week with all the other committees. That’s where we get our information,” said Skelly.

Sydney Fernandez, ’17, has been serving on the Council on Diversity and Equity for the past year. Having no prior experience with ASG, it was the issues raised in last year’s community forum that motivated Fernandez to apply for her position.

“I remember I saw it [the advertisement] in MyAllegheny and I’m very passionate about issues surrounding diversity. I just wanted to continue doing stuff around that,” said Fernandez.

Fernandez said she appreciates the opportunity to hear firsthand what’s going on regarding changes in the school’s policies on diversity. She also sees it as a great way to help her peers have their voices heard by faculty and administration.

“If any student has any issues that they want to raise…they are more than welcome to contact me or anyone on a committee,” said Fernandez.

Interviews for committee positions have been taking place over the past week, but students are still encouraged to apply. For more information, students should contact Kaufman for an application.

“Spots are constantly opening up,” Kaufman said. “It’s a great way to get involved, it’s a great way to talk to the administration and it’s a great way to get to know your community.”

Advertisements for committee openings will be posted on MyAllegheny throughout the semester.