Kalamazoo College’s Student Commission, which was dissolved during the 2014-15 school year, is coming back with serious reforms. The initiative to change the student government is being led by two students: Chris Cribbs K’18 and Karina Duarte K’18. Brian Dietz, the associate Dean of Students at Kalamazoo College, is overseeing the reforms.
One of the changes already occurred last week when the Student Funding Board, once a part of the student government, split off into its own organization.
Cribbs said that he hopes to change what the student government is based around: “The way I’m hoping StuComm can be designed is around faculty committees.”
Faculty committees are committees in each department that makes decisions that affect their respective departments. For example, a faculty committee can decide whether or not to allow people to earn a minor instead of a major.
In the former Student Commission, Cribbs stated, “there wasn’t much of a defined role. A lot of [what happened in government] was based on commissioner initiative instead of commissioner duty. So what I’m hoping to do with the new one is create a more defined role.”
Before it was dissolved, Student Commission had several functions. These included forming the funding board, placing students on to faculty committees, and selecting a student representative for class president.
“It was a messy system,” Cribbs said.
Duarte is also working on the student government.
“I want to help change StuComm, but I don’t really want to be a part of it. I just want to shape it [unlike Cribbs who] wanted to do things [when he was on the old student government] and I couldn’t do them because I was either on the wrong spot or somebody else didn’t want to give the opportunity to me because of some reason,” Duarte said.
The ultimate goal of this student government reform is to increase student involvement in Student Commission and in events of the College. Those involved in this initiative aspire to make the student government a more useful and functional student organization.
Students interested in shaping the new student government are encouraged to contact Cribbs or Duarte.