It’s the question every frustrated college student trying to unravel the mysteries of the job market asks: “If employers hire based on ‘experience,’ how do I get experience?”
A new restructure of student government underway at Greenville University promises to help by giving even more students hands-on experience managing time, budgets, people and projects—skills today’s hiring managers value.
Student leaders who comprise the Greenville Student Government Association (GSGA) serve as liaisons between students, faculty and administrators; they also produce campus-wide activities that facilitate growth and service among all students. Presently, this work is carried out by eight cabinet members (pictured) and 50 additional students including senate representatives and class officers. A planned reorganization will add 20-25 members to their numbers.
GSGA’s Executive Vice President Josiah Mohr says a vision for greater relevance drives the change. He cites three key areas:
#1 Representation Based on Interests
Previously, the number of students in each residence hall determined the number of senators representing that hall. A new structure replaces representation based on place of residence with representation based on student interests, or “affinity” groups like athletics, music, theology/ministry or MOSAIC. GSGA members hope that linking senate representation to interests will renew value in student government.
#2 New Board Structure
Plans also call for the addition of boards assigned to cabinet positions responsible for heavy event planning. “The total number that participate varies from board to board,” explains Mohr, “but a rough total estimate could probably be set at 10 students total across all those boards.”
#3 Increased Influence
GSGA is working to increase student influence in administrative processes as well, with students serving alongside faculty in certain decision-making and decision-influencing capacities. Several faculty boards have open student positions that GSGA would like to fill.
“With the current push for a more influential senate,” said Mohr, “the hope is to see participation increase.”
And, increased opportunities for participation bode well for G.U.’s next graduating class, soon-to-be job seekers. Coupled with internships, practicums and volunteer work on and off campus, student government work adds one more layer of value to their resumes.
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