BYU’s Student Advisory Council is full for the first time since 2007 and is working on creating new campus projects.
The council, which acts as a senate for BYU’s campus, represents various colleges and some special interest groups on campus. The advisory council also acts as a representative to campus administrators.
“We gather thinking and opinions from students on different topics and then help administrators respect student opinions,” said Amberly Asay, the council’s vice president.
The council is more effective now that it is full.
“It’s much more accurate because the council represents the student body as a whole. It’s more legitimate being completely full because now we’re getting all perspectives and all opinions,” Asay said. “Overall quality has increased.”
Because the council is full, there are two representatives from each college and 12 other special interest group representatives.
“The big difference (with being full) is that it helps with the recognition that we’re working on as representatives,” said Spencer Pond, a biology major from Bellevue, Wash. “Because we have a larger collection of voices it has personally helped me focus on not being a single voice but one that represents the proper people.”
Every school year, each college representative is in charge of creating a new project for campus. Current projects range from alternative forms of transportation to proposing new classes and creating a campus-wide calendar that includes all campus events and important dates.
“We’re working on a project to create a Book of Mormon class for recent converts so they’re just not thrown into everything,” Asay said.
Pond, who represents clubs on campus, has been a member of the council for almost a year and was one of the founders for the white-water kayaking club on campus.
“I’m currently working on creating a council of club presidents that used to exist at BYU called the ‘Clubs Council,'” Pond said. “Last winter I researched the need and made a proposal, and now we’re working on putting together clubs to feel more unified and have a collective voice at BYU.”
Fenton Hughes, who represents the honors program in the council, is working on the class gift for 2014.
“Being able to feel like I’ll give back in a way that almost anyone could and would do, it’s not special, but I’m grateful for my time at BYU,” Hughes said. “It’s cool to attempt to make it a better place for future students as well.”
The student advisory council is unique because it brings together a diverse group of students on campus.
“Campus is so big so you don’t get to see all the students. I love to work with the students who represent campus as a whole,” Asay said. “There’s a lot of things that I wouldn’t think about, but because we’re coming from those different backgrounds, I can understand it better. It’s also more fun because I have different friends from all over campus.”
Being a part of the council has given members an opportunity to see all the programs, clubs and events that campus has to offer.
“I’ve learned a lot about what’s going on at BYU,” Hughes said. “As a senior I thought I knew a lot, but it turns out there’s programs and opportunities I didn’t know existed, so it was nice that I learned about them and now can take advantage of them.”
Pond agreed that knowing how the university functions helps the council to make decisions that benefit campus as a whole.
“It’s a good opportunity to learn more about how the university functions,” he said. “It gives me a better idea on how to make a difference. If you don’t know how decisions are made or why rules came to be, you don’t know how to go about improving situations.”