Student Congress added eight new members following fall applications.
Four vacant positions were filled by placing those who applied without an election, including:
At-large representatives: freshmen Jeremy Engle and Jackson Shepherd
Hoover/Cline representative: freshman Alex Tichenor
Sophomore representative: Brady Powers
Junior representative: Devon Joray
Three freshman representatives were selected through popular myFC voting: Taylor McDaniel, Emily Roberts and Cameron Stewart.
Following the election, The Franklin sat down with Student Congress president and junior Taylor Williams to discuss the organization’s top three goals for the fall semester.
- Get back to the Student Congress mission statement.
As The Franklin reported in the Sept. 16 issue, the college’s low freshmen enrollment numbers this year—about 25 students less than expected—caused a fluctuation in the amount of student activity fees rolling in.
Each Franklin College student pays a $185 activity fee every year.
With 25 less students, Student Congress is missing out on $4,625 this semester—money it could use to divvy up to student organizations on campus.
That’s why Williams said Student Congress is taking a step back and doing away with some of their programming to get back to their function as a service organization.
This year, the congress is cutting its annual J-Term Jamboree and Senior Citizen Prom programs to save money from their budget to give to other organizations.
“[We are] getting back to the roots of our mission statement and just truly being there for the students,” Williams said. “And whether that’s allocating [activity fees] fairly, or whether that’s giving our service back to organizations if they need that—I think that’s good.”
Student Congress’ mission statement says the organization serves to represent the student body, acts as a channel of communication between the students and the administration, regulates and allocates student activity fees, and is a means for students to voice their concerns.
“We can work with this,” Williams said. “This will kind of allow organizations to do what they need to do and less of what they want to do. … It kind of makes us all really get in touch with our frugal side and spending money where it will be the most beneficial and not just willy-nilly.”
- Gap the bridge between organizations.
One of Student Congress’ ongoing goals is to bring campus organizations closer together—a goal Williams said only Student Congress can get done, as it acts as a liaison between students and the administration
“I would like to see more of a community on campus,” Williams said. “Not to sound super cliché, but spreading positivity—that’s what we need to do this year.”
As part of this goal, Student Congress has met with all organization presidents on campus to discuss and plan homecoming events together.
- Add a diversity chair.
By this time next year, Williams wants to see an appointed diversity chair sitting on the Student Congress board.
The idea came from Student Congress’ previous president, senior Erika Brock.
Williams’ vision for the position is an appointed member who sits alongside the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council members, comes to Student Congress meetings and votes in Student Congress decisions.
Even new Student Congress freshman representative Taylor McDaniel sees the need to concentrate on diversity. In her freshman representative personal statement, she touted her experience at a diverse high school and being exposed to different types of people as a reason she should be elected—and she was.
The discussion for a diversity chair is timely.
College president Thomas Minar—who began his position this time last year—plans to expand the college’s horizons through different types of people.
The need also follows a recent campus scandal, where a student was suspended one semester over sending inappropriate and allegedly racist Snapchats—a story The Franklin reported on May 6.