Students will have an additional outlet to voice concerns to administration through representatives on a new advisory council.
The “Student Advisory Council to the Vice President of Student Success” will host 20 members each month to improve student life on campus, according to Sean Schrader, the founder of the council and graduate student.
The council represents the student body by bringing up issues facing students, such as obstacles to involvement in extracurriculars or academic success. Cindy DeLuca, vice president of Student Success, will hear the recommendations from the council members and help implement changes.
“I think at the end of the day everybody wants every student to be successful… I think it just makes it even more accessible for students to say, ‘I’ve got advocates and I know who I can speak to student wise that want to help make a difference,’” Schrader said.
After releasing the application with the announcement on Jan. 10, council founder Sean Schrader said over 100 students submitted their applications in the first 24 hours. Schrader, a business administration graduate student, said he hopes to have around 150 applicants by the Friday application deadline.
Schrader said SG will help review applications to select “passionate” and involved students who are “committed to making a difference to the university.”
The council will host 10 students from the Tampa campus, five from the Sarasota-Manatee campus and five from the St. Pete campus. The applicants will be notified by the end of the month if they were selected, with the first meeting scheduled for February.
Schrader said the council will serve as another avenue for students to personally connect with university leaders. Schrader is familiar with connecting students to USF’s administration through his time as St. Pete’s SG governor.
He said he came up with the idea while working as the SG campus governor at St. Pete. Schader brought the idea to DeLuca just less than a year ago.
“This council started with a rough draft on a piece of paper that I wrote down in my notebook and then I had to translate it to Word because my handwriting wasn’t the best,” he said while laughing.
Schrader said council members will be responsible for finding issues that personally affect them or issues they hear about through their classes, friends and student organizations. They will bring these issues to meetings and work with administration to create solutions.
“I’ve always found that there are new opportunities that we can be taking to really engage with our students,” he said.
SG already offers one way for students to connect with USF’s decision-makers by emailing the organization or meeting with a representative. Schrader said another outlet will still benefit USF.
SG President Cesar Esmeraldi said the council will not operate directly under SG, but rather in partnership with the organization. He hopes to offer support by promoting initiatives and said the council will follow similar procedures, but it will ultimately serve as an avenue for students who are not in SG.
Schrader also hopes SG representatives will be able to attend some of the council’s monthly meetings.
DeLuca said she plans to bring in the regional vice chancellors and deans of students from USF’s satellite campuses.
“I can bring additional leadership with me because I think it’s important that we provide representation leadership across our three campuses as well,” DeLuca said.
Schrader said the council will look into rotating the host campus, but the meetings will start at the Tampa campus.
Schrader views the council as a way for students to make connections with university leaders.
“To see it in fruition now, I think it shows the power of how receptive administrative leaders are to make change and I think that’s what really defines this council,” he said.