Student Association will undergo organizational changes, starting next semester. SA will operate under a “flattened hierarchy,” as Aaron Brown, director of Student Experience, described it.
“In May 2012, SA members began telling me ‘What we’d really like is a flattened system instead of a hierarchy,” said Brown.
With this system, the president and executive team will have an equal voice.
“We want consensus,” said Dr. Daniel Guajardo, vice president of student life. “We don’t want anyone to feel that [his or her] voice isn’t being heard. That’s why we’re doing this. We’re reorganizing the structure here. The last thing we want is one person throwing their will around and not listening to the others.”
The executive cabinet will be renamed the “executive team.” The vice presidential role will be discontinued and the responsibilities will be absorbed by the executive team.
In past years, the president and vice president hired the executive cabinet. Now the director and incumbent executive team will choose the new members before SA elections. Members of the executive team head different SA departments like finance and communications.
“Idea for change came from students,” said Guajardo.
The president will have less day-to-day responsibilities and focus more on representing the student body. In the past, the university struggled to provide a useful forum for the student voice.
Guajardo said there will be more focus groups to hear from the students.
“We want students to lead the focus groups,” Guajardo said. “They can be open and free to tell their stories, tell their concerns and let us know what would make their experience more enjoyable.”
Brown has high hopes for the future role of the president.
“It is paramount to me that the student body be represented and I think the best way to do that is through the student body president,” Brown said.
Students with more questions can ask Brown directly. On Tuesday Feb. 10, he will host Donuts with the Director. Brown will answer any questions about student leadership and development. The discussion will be in the Hammer Center at 10 a.m.