How student government works at Uni

At the end of each year we all shuffle up to the attics to elect the next Student Council (StudCo) and Student Faculty Advisory Committee (SFAC) representatives. The next year the new reps get to work. But what do they do exactly? 

Each class elects three StudCo reps and one SFAC rep. The StudCo reps attend weekly student council meetings and the SFAC rep attends a biweekly SFAC meeting. Together the four reps plan class events (movie nights, dances, T-Shirt sales). 

StudCo and SFAC are two different governing bodies, however, students didn’t know the difference. According to the Student Council Constitution, which was ratified at the end of last year, StudCo “serves as the governing body concerning student activities and interests”. 

SFAC’s purpose seems to be a bit murkier however SFAC president, Smita Nair, describes it as focusing “a lot on day to day life and monitoring student atmosphere”. 

Executive secretary, Ethan Ashbrook, explains the difference as “StudCo is the river that keeps things going, SFAC is the dam somewhere along the river”. StudCo focuses on maintaining the wellbeing of students while SFAC is where they make changes.

StudCo meets every Thursday in room 109. The executive officers meet separately from this meeting to decide the weekly agenda. Ashbrook said if students have an issue or agenda item they would like StudCo to discuss, they should communicate with an executive officer or their class officers. 

The secretary sends out weekly minutes with a record of what they discussed at each meeting and if students want to learn more they are welcome to sit in on the meetings. 

Since StudCo meets every week their main goals are making sure their annual events get planned and that the events are still engaging and fun. According to Ashbrook, recently they have been working far into the future, planning the spirit-week assembly and Winter Formal. 

SFAC meets every other Tuesday in the library. Usually the senior rep is the president of SFAC. The president is in charge of creating the agenda and controlling the discussion at the meetings. 

SFAC meeting in progress

SFAC meetings are a bit more private than StudCo meetings since bouncing ideas off each other is a big part of the meetings and many ideas get rejected, said Nair. They also approve Makino grants which they are not allowed to talk about. 

SFAC has been working on sending minutes for the school to read, so students will be able to learn more there. 

Students are allowed and encouraged to sit in on SFAC meetings. Nair knows Uni students face a lot of issues and it can feel like nobody’s listening, but SFAC wants to help. Nair emphasized that Makino grants are an excellent resource for students that many don’t realize they can take advantage of.

StudCo bulletin board

You can find pictures of your StudCo reps on the stairwell between the first and second floor. Both StudCo and SFAC are here to help solve issues facing the student body, so take advantage of your reps.