BY MEGAN SENSENEY
(Webster Groves, Feb. 10, 2011) For 13 years, student leaders at Webster University have come together at Officer’s Summit to share ideas and solutions about issues on campus. Once per semester, the Student Government Association (SGA) members and officers from student clubs and organizations vote on which issues they think are most important.
About 70 student leaders attended the spring 2011 Officers’ Summit, held in the Sunnen Lounge. The main issue students were concerned with was the condition of academic facilities and how they could be improved, which received 46 votes.
Ashley Drumm, a sophomore dance major, was one of many students to say that buildings across campus needed to be updated, and gave a specific example about a studio in the dance department.
“It looks really nice because of the open windows, but you can’t see anything on a sunny day,” Drumm said. “I’ve seen students wearing sunglasses in there during class.”
Students voted in favor to add a curtain in the dance studio to block the sun, among other facilities’ improvements.
The issues that make it to the top five at the Officer’s Summit were later presented in a session with Webster President Elizabeth Stroble and other university administrators.
At the summit, students can volunteer to give a presentation about one of the five new issues, or to present a status report of the top five items from the last summit.
John Ginsburg, student activities director, said he encourages all student leaders to attend the session with administrators, but, most of all, to give a presentation.
“This really is one of the premier leadership opportunities on campus,” Ginsburg said.
Though many students at the summit represent more than one organization, Sarah Tetley, director of first year experience programs, said some student groups are not represented at all. Because the summit also helps students with their club’s organization, the clubs that aren’t represented miss the information presented.
“One of the unfortunate things is that if there’s a club that’s not here, it’s very likely that they needed to be here,” Ginsburg said. “They’ll usually end up being the ones that needed the information the most.”
Those who volunteered to give presentations were each assigned an issue to discuss, with three students for each issue.
Before the session with administrators, they research how the issue affects the campus, find out if anything is currently being done to fix the issue and suggest possible solutions.
Ginsburg and SGA encourage students to attend the session with Stroble and university administrators not only to discuss the issues, but also to share their own experiences and solutions for them.
Students interested in attending the administrative session must RSVP at www.involved.webster.edu. It will take place at 3 p.m. on March 3 in the Sunnen Lounge.