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New student voice on campus

A new committee came to life Tuesday morning, designed to advise the Office of Student Development (SDO). The committee is composed of nine members, and includes a wide range people in the PSU community, including representatives of student clusters and a PSU alumnus.

Chris Moller and Shane Jordan, both members of the ASPSU student senate, were also in attendance.

One thing that didn’t quite feel right to Jordan on Tuesday was the focus of the group. The advisory board was created to give students a voice in the changes that affect their lives. He wanted to make sure the board maintained a level of influence with the SDO and that student issues would be addressed.

“The whole idea for this last year was to be sure that students had a place to go,” Jordan said. “Nobody was listening to us before.”

John Eckman, SDO adviser, spoke to Jordan’s concerns, explaining why he felt the SDO Advisory Board could be an effective tool for students.

“I saw proposals from students last year,” Eckman said. “Students were really upset with the way some of the SDO things were going. I think where that flavor is maintained in this is that there is no voting member from SDO on the board.”

Michele Toppe, assistant director of Student Development, urged the student cluster representatives to be active in presenting the issues to their constituents. Eckman echoed those sentiments.

“The key to any group like this is broad involvement,” Eckman said. “The key to this group being powerful is in the number of voices it represents.”

As with the formation of any new body, Tuesday’s meeting was mainly directed at the nuts and bolts of how the committee will run. Eckman submitted proposed bylaws, and changes were made to clean up language and clarify certain aspects of the bylaws and constitution of the organization.

A discussion was held about how many votes it would take to pass or veto a measure. Meeting times, proper methods of introducing new business and approving minutes were all addressed as well.

One issue of business besides the techincal formation of the group came to the table. A discussion was heard regarding the usage of Shattuck Hall 212.

Originally designed for academic use, Shattuck 212 has become a popular spot for student groups to host parties. Apparently there has been a conflict between the groups using the room for parties and the architecture department, which resides nearby.

Before the meeting Eckman drafted guidelines for the use of Shattuck 212. The proposed guidelines include proper notice of events, limits on amplified music and instructions on how to leave the room after use.

No official action was taken, as the bylaws governing the committee were not yet in place. The group plans to meet once a month.