Ambassador position created to facilitate student dialogue

St. Edward’s University Student Government Association passed legislation that created five new positions in the association.

Five student ambassadors will work as liaisons between the association and an assigned school’s dean. 

Proposed by Senator Jonathan Edwards, the new position will facilitate communication between the SGA and the deans of each school within the university. Each school’s student ambassador will be appointed by the SGA president.

“The ambassadors will be responsible for meeting on a regular basis with the dean and being involved with the activities of the school that they are assigned to,” Edwards said. “On a monthly basis, they will come to the formal senate meeting and report what is going on in those schools.”

The main purpose of the new positions is to allow another way for students and faculty to communicate concerns to SGA.

Additionally, the new position allows more students the opportunity to be involved in SGA and have a voice among the student body.

“It’s kind of a way for us to focus our gaze on what is really important to the student body,” Edwards said.

Edwards has met and discussed the new position with each school’s dean or interim dean and feels that this legislation will encourage a positive relationship between SGA and the student body.

“The ambassadors will be recommended by the deans of the schools who will each in their own individual way come up with the criteria,” Edwards said.

After Edwards, in conjunction with the school’s deans, gathers a pool of nominees, the SGA president for the 2014-2015 school year will  either approve or reject the nominations. The president will then recommend the nominees to the SGA senate, which will vote to approve the new ambassadors.

Edwards expects to have nominations in place by the end of this semester so that next school year’s SGA president will be prepared to recommend the nominees in the fall. 

“It’s going to be interesting trying to implement this before we break for the summer,” Edwards said. “But I think it’s going to go over well.”

Megan Aust spoke at the SGA meeting in favor of the new position.

“I think this will give more students the opportunity to feel empowered and have a voice,” Aust said. “It will help make a more cohesive student government.”

There was some discussion in opposition to the bill at the meeting. 

Harrison Hadland stated that the position is redundant, ultimately unnecessary and could be filled by one person rather than five ambassadors. 

Hadland did not respond to Hilltop Views requests for an interview. 

The bill passed with a majority vote. One senator voted against and one decided to abstain.  

Some schools, such as the School of Natural Sciences, have a Dean Leadership Council, which consists of student leaders who meet regularly with the dean of their school to plan events and communicate student needs. 

Edwards has been working with the Dean Leadership Council and expects that some of the ambassador nominees will come from this group.