Congratulations on reaching the end of the semester! Whether this be your first or one of your last semesters, I hope it was rewarding and that your hard work paid off. As we leave Grounds for a well-deserved break, I would like to share with you opportunities to get involved next semester, as well as a recap of this semester's Student Council initiatives. If you have any questions or are interested in becoming involved, please feel free to email me or contact Student Council.
Student Council President
Opportunities to Get Involved:
- Strategic Investment Fund Student Advisory Committee Application: The Board of Visitors recently approved the formation of a Student Advisory Committee to the Strategic Investment Fund. The Student Advisory Committee will sit adjacent to the Advisory Committee and provide feedback on proposals that seek to improve the student experience. The committee will identify proposals or features of proposals that they think provide students with the greatest benefits, as well as those they believe the student body would not receive positively. More information about the Strategic Investment Fund and how to apply for funding can be found on the Strategic Investment Fund website. Applications can be found on the Student Member of the Board of Visitor's Facebook page and will be open until Wednesday, January 18.
Student Council Elections: The positions of Student Council President, Vice President for Administration, Vice President for Organizations, and School Representatives will be up for election when we return for the new semester. Contact the Chair of the University Board of Elections, Casey Schmidt (email@example.com), if you have any questions about the election process. Contact Student Council President Emily Lodge (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions about what positions entail. Candidate Information Sessions will be in New Cabell 489 on:
- Wednesday, January 18, 7 p.m.
- Monday, January 23, 7 p.m.
- Tuesday, January 24, 7 p.m.
Student Council Semester Recap:
- Resolution to Honor UVA Veterans: The Representative Body held a special session over the summer to pass a resolution honoring United States Army Captain Humayun Khan and other UVA students who have lost their lives in military service since the Vietnam War.
- Presidential Senate: Convening monthly, presidents from over one hundred organizations on Grounds gather to hear presentations on University-wide initiatives and vote for which one should receive the Presidential Seal of support. Three initiatives have received the Presidential Seal so far: efforts to build a student remembrance garden, instituting gender-neutral housing on Grounds, and UJC's Safer Communities Partnership Initiative.
- Student Remembrance Garden: After years of effort, plans to build a student remembrance garden have received funding up to $700,000 to complete the project! Our Buildings & Grounds committee will continue to work on the details, secure construction clearances, and prepare the site for groundbreaking next semester, and we anticipate completion sometime over the summer.
- SpeakUpUVA.com: Our online platform for student concerns has received almost a hundred submissions since we relaunched it in the spring. We are excited to bring SpeakUpUVA to even more students next semester. You can always submit your student concerns at SpeakUpUVA.com or attend a Student Council General Body meeting on Tuesday evenings.
- New CIOs: The Vice President for Organizations and the Representative Body approved sixteen new organizations for CIO status.
- Student Advisory Committee to the SIF: During discussion of the Strategic Investment Fund, we invited UVA Vice President for Finance Melody Bianchetto to our General Body meeting to address concerns from the community. Following our meeting, Student Council delivered a letter to Administration requesting increased student representation in the use of the fund. In November, the Board of Visitors approved our proposal for an additional advisory committee composed entirely of students to review applications to the Strategic Investment Fund. Apply to serve on the committee.
- Representative Ad Hoc Committees: The Representative Body voted to establish two ad hoc committees. The University of Virginia Investment Management Company Administration Study Committee is collecting information about UVIMCO to provide to the student body. The Parking and Advocacy Research Committee is exploring the feasibility of providing increased free or reduced-price parking on Grounds.
- Election Day shuttles: We joined the collective effort of political student organizations in calling for transportation to the polls on Election Day in the spirit of civic engagement. In partnership with the Center for Politics, the Parents Committee, the Office of the Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer, and Department of Parking & Transportation, we secured Safe Ride shuttles from the area of first-year dorms to the University Hall polling place.
- Civic and Community Engagement Courses: Our Community Service committee created a list of courses that are directly involved with or promote critical conversations about civic engagement. It can be found directly through Lou's List or through the Learning in Action website under Courses.
- Surveying students: We collected information from the student body to further several policy initiatives, including improving options for off-Grounds housing and addressing concerns about the University Transit Service. We encourage you to participate in this survey measuring students' health insurance literacy. Updates on these initiatives will appear on the Student Council website.
- Charlottesville Community Dialogues: We held two discussions in collaboration with the Charlottesville Human Rights Commission exploring issues relevant in the city and around Grounds, including on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials & Public Space and on the resettlement process for the refugee population in Charlottesville.