Grand Rapids Community College students are about to have representation once again. The Student Leadership Advisory Council, formed after Student Congress disbanded in the fall of 2012, has received final approval from the administration to move forward with forming the Student Alliance, which will replace Student Congress.
“There are a lot of community colleges that don’t have any Student Congress, and we had really implemented a four-year model here,” said Sara Dorer, Director of Student Life and Conduct and faculty advisor for SLAC. “This is kind of trying to develop a new model and see if it will work at the community college.”
The constitution previously guiding Student Congress was very complex.
“A lot of our students were feeling kind of disconnected from that process, so this simplifies it completely,” Dorer said.
“I’m happy that we have a new student government with a fresh idea,” said Arielle Hallies, one of the SLAC members who helped draft the document. “I’m happy to see the new people we bring on and the fresh ideas that they have.”
The new guiding document is designed to allow each year’s Student Alliance more versatility in their actions.
“It’s hopefully going to allow each group that comes in to be a little bit more organic and free,” Dorer said. “We’re really getting back to the goal; for students to get together, find a common purpose, (and) organize around that.
Next year’s Student Alliance will have two monthly meetings, each with a different focus.
“One monthly (meeting) will be a town hall meeting, that really is focusing on issues at the campus that people want to talk about, or education about the campus,” Dorer said. “They’re going to bring in different speakers to each event…”
Applications for the four Leadership Board positions are due by May 9 and can be found on the Student Alliance webpage. Applicants will interview in front of a panel that includes staff and students, and must meet a few requirements, including a GPA of at least 2.5 and not having any probationary status with GRCC.
“We’re hoping to get our Leadership Board selected by the end of May,” Dorer said.
Leadership positions include President, External Affairs Director, Communications Director and Operations Director. The new guiding document, with descriptions of each position’s responsibilities and requirements, is available here.
“I think they’ve come up with a great concept, and it’ll be interesting to see if they can pull it off, if it does get students more engaged,” Dorer said.