Student Government at John Cabot University is more than just an organization of students: it is the mediator between the student body and faculty, staff, and administration. The members of Student Government, including JCU undergraduates from all over the world, work together to ensure that all voices and opinions on campus are heard.
What I like about this student organization is that it is created by the students, for the students. It requires a lot of commitment from its members as we aim to be the voice of the student body, sharing their concerns, needs, and interests to the administration.
The cabinet of JCU’s Student Government is composed of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Chief-Of-Staff, Web Master, Events Coordinator, and a Faculty Advisor. This year’s board members include Carlos Salas from Mexico (President), Camilla Carlesi from Italy (Vice President), Julia Guimares from Brazil (Events Coordinator), Stephane Garelli from France (Treasurer), Luca Azzariti from Peru (Chief of Staff), Manuela Irene from Italy (Web Master), and myself, Carolina Tellez, from Mexico (Secretary).
To improve our leadership skills and exchange ideas with members of other universities’ student governments, the President, Vice President, Faculty Advisor Professor Peter Sarram, and I attended the American Student Government Association’s (ASGA) National Student Government Summit in Washington, DC this fall. The three-day event was a professional conference consisting of workshops, panels, and seminars to help us improve our performance as student government representatives.
Topics discussed included how to build a great team that works well together; how to run meetings effectively; how to improve relations with administration, faculty, and staff; and how to increase participation in student government projects.
After returning to Rome, we reflected on the things we had learned and how they could be useful for the entire JCU community. Here are three of the most significant things I took away from attending the 2019 ASGA National Student Government Summit.
- The first step towards becoming the primary legislative and policy-making entity of the student body is to have a concrete constitution. Having a well-written constitution allows Student Government to handle the real and vital issues and further develop confidence among students.
- There is more than one way to handle elections. It was incredible to see the different techniques and strategies other student government members put in place to involve the student body in elections.
- How you conduct your meetings is paramount. It is important to write a good agenda and take meaningful minutes during meetings. Speakers at the conference provided us templates and strategies to write the most relevant points discussed.
After attending this conference, all I can say is thank you to JCU Student Services for giving its students access to resources that improve our skills, something that is fundamental for the our futures.
Carolina Tellez Salinas, Class of 2020
Major: International Affairs
Minor: Economics and Finance
Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico