No one ran for the student-at-large position for this upcoming academic year, which follows the trend of the past several years.
“[To take] the student-at-large position, my understanding is, that student cannot be part of the student Senate. As a result, that position does not get any of the tuition reimbursement that the executive officers receive. So I think that kind of plays into students kind of determining if they’re interested or if they’re not,” said Ann Carrozza, director of the Faculty Student Association.
Alexander Popovics, vice president for enrollment management and student development, chooses the student-at-large if no one runs for the position during the annual campus elections.
When asked why he thought students have not run for the student-at-large position for the past several years, Popovics stated, “Many students prefer to maintain their seat on the Senate rather than give it up for an opportunity to be a member of the Board of Directors of the Faculty Student Association.”
According to Carrozza, Popovics is looking for a student in good academic standing so that the student-at-large position will not take away from his or her studies. He then asks potential candidates to come in for a discussion to see if they are interested.
“[Dr. Popovics] wants a student who will do [his or her duty] and who doesn’t just want the title of being on a board of directors. He wants someone who is going to attend and participate,” she said.
There are three students on the FSA Board of Directors, two of whom are executive officers and the third being the student-at-large.
The current student-at-large position is held by Robert Song. Song did not run for the position, but was appointed by Popovics.
“The previous student-at-large graduated in the fall, and I was recommended,” Song said.
Song declined to comment on why exactly he was chosen for the position.
Carrozza said, “[Song] was very excited to be asked to serve because even though there’s no compensation – the board members are not compensated – [the student-at-large’s vote] still does carry a good bit of weight. Any student who serves on that board can put that on their resumé, and that’s an important service.”
Carrozza mentioned that student Senate vice president Bryce Kirk is one of those three students who serve on the Board and also has a seat on the Finance Committee.
“The students who have served on the board, this group will tell you, how much they’ve gotten out of board service,” she said.
Song said, “I’ve learned a lot [from the position].”.
According to Carrozza, the student-at-large is responsible for attending FSA board meetings and reviewing and becoming familiar with the agenda before the meetings.
“This year, last year, and in the past several years, we’ve never had a problem with student attendance,” she said. “This year, it’s phenomenal how dedicated the students are.”
Because the student-at-large holds a seat on the board, he or she is responsible for voting on the issues presented and discussed. If a student is not familiar with an agenda item, he or she can go to Carrozza or Popovics with questions.
“It’s very important because the three students each have a vote, and on a 10-member board, they have 30 percent of the say. That’s significant,” Carrozza said.
The student-at-large cannot be a part of the student Senate, though Song works in the Student Activities office part-time.