In an emergency Student Government (SG) session on Monday, Jan. 22, the senate cleared up to $650 from the general ledger to be spent on airfare for three representatives, at $211 per person, to the Catholic Council Network Conference at Ave Maria University in Florida.
The Catholic Council Network is an association of student governments from Catholic colleges that has recently been endorsed by the Cardinal Newman Society.
The Cardinal Newman Society is an organization that aggregates data on Catholic universities and recommends them to potential students for their authentic Catholic values and outstanding academic tradition.
Receiving the endorsement of this organization not only adds to the council’s growing resume of accomplishments, but opens the door for more Catholic colleges and universities to join the council.
The conference was composed of the University of Dallas, Ave Maria University, Franciscan University and Benedictine College at its founding, but has since grown to include more members.
Members of these student government’s executive councils gather at conferences to hear from distinguished speakers from their host school, discuss each other’s experiences in student government, and share ideas on how to improve their communities through student government.
“The mission of the conference currently is to grow in solidarity … and take what we learned from their schools and apply it to our own to make our school the best that it can be,” SG President Angelo Novello said
SG Secretary Clare Slattery attended the conference this past fall and recounted her useful experience.
“There are members from everyone’s executive council, there are treasurers from different schools, there are secretaries, and every school does things differently,” Slattery said. “So for me, just personally, as secretary it was really helpful because everyone has different styles of publicizing things and organizing things. It was really fruitful for me and definitely gave me a lot of ideas last semester.”
The SG members that will be representing the UD are Novello, Slattery and a senator to be chosen by the executive council.
A third of the funds are intended to be an investment in the future of the SG executive council, because the senator who will be chosen to accompany Novello and Slattery must be planning on running for an executive council position in the coming semester.
“It’ll give them a better idea whether or not they do want to run for executive council, or what position they’d want to run in and what the job actually entails,” Slattery said. “It’s a really great introduction to what the executive council does.”
Senators who plan on running for a position in the executive council next semester must apply to go to the conference and will be voted on by the existing members of the executive council.
Novello listed several attributes the executive council is looking for in their choice.,
“Someone who is committed, someone who has strong participation, who has been present at meetings, has good attendance,” Novello said. “They must have good personal character and leadership skills that you can see over the course of the year.”
While the senator who will accompany Novello and Slattery is yet to be determined, the senator that will be chosen will gain valuable insights into the executive council positions and will bolster their resume with the connections useful for their future run for office.
Slattery stressed the importance of upcoming conference.
“It’s definitely something we’ve taken seriously and something to go into with a lot of passion,” Slattery said.
“We’re just looking to hand that on,” Novello said.