BYUSA has expanded its efforts to make BYU a better place by creating Student Voice, a team dedicated to help fix small, everyday problems on the BYU campus.
Student Voice is a subsection of the existing Student Advisory Council, which has already done numerous things to help make campus life better for students. For example, the council worked to make textbooks cheaper, as well as improve lighting on campus.
The team is responsible for listening to what students feel are important issues on campus and working to resolve them on a case-by-case basis.
“Student Voice has listened and is already working on projects to improve campus and are looking for more to do,” said David Pack, a Student Voice member. “We want the students at BYU to know that there’s a team working on specific projects suggested by students to improve their campus experience.”
Stephen Fortuna, a senior member of the team, said the team has already made an impact at BYU. Students who ride bikes to school often make use of the bike pump repair stations on the BYU campus, but according to Fortuna, the stands weren’t meeting student needs.
“We’ve done the work to get new bike pumps set up,” Fortuna said. “We talked to students, did research and found the best places to get those pumps put in. Now they’re getting installed.”
The Student Voice team is composed completely of volunteers. For now the group is composed of about 25 members, but Fortuna said new members are joining constantly.
Fortuna said many students on campus have ideas for things they’d like to improve, but the idea of making a difference can be overwhelming. Permission, paperwork and a lack of resources hold students back from making the changes they want.
“Rather than just complaining, students can actually come into our office, join the team and start making the change,” Fortuna said. “We get to make changes that everyday students actually want.”
The group accepts new members with all kinds of backgrounds. Pack said there are opportunities for students from many different majors to serve on the team.
“There’s planning, logistics, advertising, PR and all kinds of other things we do,” Pack said. “We can use help from whoever wants to join.”
Katriina Adams, a public relations major at BYU, said she loves being part of the team. She said there’s a level of excitement and energy team members can feel when they’re actively making a difference.
“Even little things like, ‘Hey, the library doesn’t have enough staplers,’ — that may not be life changing, but we can actually make life better for people who use the library,” Adams said.
The team has already started on multiple projects, including an app to make walking home from campus safer, a new system for checking out library books, and a petition to get bigger cups in the CougarEat. Students who have more ideas can reach out to Student Voice in any way they’d like, including visiting them in their office, room 3400 WSC.
Fortuna said the team hopes to continue expanding and working on projects moving forward. He added that the team has already received over 1,000 suggestions, so students can expect to see more of these projects being completed in the coming months.