Student body president proposes new structure for executive

The executive branch of student government will propose a new position structure, affecting the class of 2026. Photo courtesy of student government

By Ana Ruiz Brictson | Personal editor

The executive branch of student government will propose a new structure for the organization on Tuesday and Wednesday, under which officer positions could be eliminated, starting with the freshman class of 2026.

Sierra Vista, Arizona, senior president and student Gracie Kelliher has been working since fall 2020 to create a new structure for the executive branch. His proposal hinges on eliminating freshman, sophomore, and junior officer positions while continuing to have 13 student senators from each class on the team for class representation.

Kelliher has been working on a legislative proposal, which can be found here. She said the highlighted parts are the changes her team made.

According to Kelliher, each class is responsible for specific tasks throughout the year.

“[The freshmen’s] job description is a philanthropic project, so that may be whatever they decide to do that year,” Kelliher said.

Sophomores were responsible for the housing fair, as they were the most knowledgeable about housing since they most recently left campus. However, Baylor no longer directly oversees the housing fair and now relies on a third-party platform that helps connect students to landlords. As a result, sophomores are responsible for hosting the Custodian’s Banquet – an appreciation event for Baylor’s custodial staff.

The juniors help the student foundation with All-University Thanksgiving and organize the Sic Hunger food drive.

Finally, the seniors choose the senior class gift and work with the student foundation to raise funds and announce what the senior class will give back to Baylor as a gift.

One of Kelliher’s main concerns was the indirect connection of each class’s projects to its class representation.

“That doesn’t mean they aren’t important,said Kelliher. “But that means, are we using these positions as effectively as possible?”

Kelliher said one of his goals for this year was to create a more efficient and streamlined organization focused on his mission.

“Our mission is to stand up for students,” Kelliher said. “It’s about being representative and advocating for what students need and want from the administration.”

According to Kelliher, his plan to remove class officer representation for freshmen, sophomores and juniors won’t take full effect until 2026, when all current classes have graduated from Baylor.

Kelliher said that if the proposal were to pass in favor of the students, the incoming freshman class would no longer have class officers.

“It’s nobody’s fault,” Kelliher said. “No one who held the position did anything wrong. It’s just that the structure hasn’t served them or facilitated an environment where they can thrive as representatives.

Kelliher said she asked for input from all the class officers and they told her they thought it was a good idea.

“It passed the Senate unanimously, which is huge,” Kelliher said. “No one voted against. »

Cypress sophomore and sophomore class president Collin Bass said there wasn’t much for him to do when he was freshman class president.

“It’s just kind of sad that we don’t have to do anything, but even if we want to do things, there’s just no specific action to take,” Bass said.

According to Kelliher, no other Big 12 school has class officers in its student government.

Kelliher said that when there are two people in officer positions, it won’t be overwhelming for them to handle all the tasks that all officer-classes currently handle.

Bass said planning an event like the Guardians Banquet doesn’t take a lot of time. Moreover, he said that all responsibilities are exercised at different times of the year, which means that the tasks will not be overwhelming for the senior officers in charge by 2026.

“Right now we have all the class officers doing their one project, and then there’s really no other involvement because we’re not involved in the Senate, and then we go to meetings and we don’t have nothing to share, Bass said. “It’s just kind of like, why are we even here in the first place?”

Bass said it would be good to have two officers take responsibility for all class projects, as it would give them enough work to do throughout the year rather than having periods of time when they weren’t. not involved.

Kelliher said she wanted to emphasize that the purpose of this restructuring is not to suppress student voice or minimize their current representation.

“I just think knowing the purpose of student government and how it works in advocating with the administration, you only have a limited amount of opportunity to do that,” Kelliher said. “It needs to be really streamlined and organized, and the goal is to do just that.

Ida M. Morgan