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Student Council Semester Report – Fall 2018

December 20, 2018
All Students
UVA Student Council

Fellow Students,

As we head into Winter Break, I wanted to take the time to update you all on the work that Student Council has completed this semester. We have created the Student Police Advisory Board in order to institutionalize a space where students can voice their concerns to University safety and security officials. We re-launched the UVA AirBus Initiative providing low-cost transportation options for students to Richmond and Dulles airports in time for Winter Break. We continued providing free menstrual hygiene products in various locations on Central Grounds. We have liberalized our Student Activity Fee (SAF) guidelines, increasing our capacity to support student groups. We have started and will continue working to lay the groundwork for the creation of an Asian American Studies major program and a Latinx Studies major program. These are just a few of the items we have accomplished this semester. You will find a comprehensive, yet not exhaustive, listing of projects Student Council has accomplished with a corresponding contact in case you have any questions, comments, concerns or suggestions on items we have done or may pursue in the future.


Alex Cintron
President, Student Council


Academic Affairs
Chair: Megha Karthikeyan (

  • Worked closely this semester with the Asian Leaders Council and the Latinx Student Alliance to accomplish the items in Our University to Shape and A Report on Academic Reform
  • Began working to departmentalize the American Studies program in order to have Asian American Studies and Latinx Studies major programs
  • Hosted our Academic Resource Fair in September. We partnered with resources across the University like the Libraries, Alumni Scholarships, the neuroscience department, and others so that students could learn about unique opportunities at UVA.
  • Held Academic Affairs Beyond Academics with the Career Center where students learned how to build a resume and cover letter and received a Handshake tutorial
  • Oversaw the application process for the Cavalier Education program, which allows students to teach their own courses
  • Hosted the Animal Justice Advocates and discussed how our committee could help this group create virtual dissection labs with the Biology Department

Chair: Emily Williams (

  • Provided $5,000 to 17 students across many arts disciplines, including music, drama, studio art, architecture, art history, creative writing, and film through the Student Arts Fund
  • Started the Arts CIO Spotlight on the Student Council Facebook page, which showcased a different group each week in order to make the overall UVA community more aware of events in the arts around the University
  • Created a series of posters with “Architectural Fun Facts,” which were showcased on the Lawn during Lighting of the Lawn and final exam season to promote awareness of architectural history on Grounds
  • Gathered many student photographs and professionally printed them to be displayed in Newcomb Hall

Athletic Affairs
Chair: Erin Sweet (

  • Partnered with Student Athlete Advisory Committee and Student Athlete Mentors this year, and from that partnership, we began the Mental Health Round Tables for Student Athletes, which will continue monthly next year due to the success of our November Roundtable
  • Compiled resources for student athletes and interest students, The Manageable Majors guide, which outlines the most popular majors at UVA as well as all majors that could comply with a student athlete schedule
  • Compiled a list of CIOs that are low or no cost, non-competitive, and low time commitment to expand student athlete involvement
  • Publicized IM Rec and Club Sports with our Facebook and Twitter pages HoosPlaying. These sites also feature spotlights on Club Sports as well as provide helpful information about IM deadlines.
  • Worked with Club Sports throughout the semester to make fundraising plans and address any issues they may be facing, like the ice sports losing their facility

Building and Grounds
Chair: Andrew Williams (

  • Procured funding for a project to improve the burial ground near Gooch-Dillard with the goal of installing two interpretive signs at the site to give it more historical context, along with landscaping to protect it from students walking across the site.
  • Worked with the Office of the Architect, Facilities Management, and Housing and Residence Life to create an ADA accessible Lawn room. We worked with the Senior Resident of the Lawn to add a section to the Lawn application for next year that encourages students with disabilities to apply.
  • Worked with UVA Libraries to expand their database of study spaces and promotion of study spaces

Community Relations
Chair: Alaina Robinson (

  • Launched the Peer Housing Advocates Project this semester, which involved speaking with first-year students about the housing process for on- and off-Grounds housing
  • Increased Student Council’s outreach with city councilors and community leaders this semester
  • Reported relevant information about City Council meetings to Student Council to keep the student body aware of city initiatives that impact the university community
  • Met with university deans and administrators to discuss how to increase student involvement in civic engagement initiatives and public service projects on Grounds and in Charlottesville

Legislative Affairs
Chair: Isaac Weintz (

  • Worked with R.A.s to register voters and host voting information sessions in dorms all across Grounds. Through weekly tabling, as well as classroom visits, the committee was able to register over 500 students.
  • Tabled around grounds to ensure that students were knowledgeable about Election Day information such as polling locations and I.D. laws
  • Worked with the College Council and the office of Parking and Transportation on Election Day to provide SafeRide shuttles to take students to the Johnson Elementary School and Buford Middle School polling locations
  • Partnered with CAR2Vote to provide students transportation to remaining polling locations

Safety and Wellness
Chair: Katie Kirk (

  • Partnered with the Inter-Sorority Council and Madison House to provide three different seed projects in Madison House, Libraries, and Newcomb Hall to provide free menstrual hygiene products
  • Hosted a series of University Police Department Meet and Greets in October and December in which students were able to interact with members of UPD
  • Created the Student Police Advisory Board in order to foster more open communication between the University student body and the safety sectors of our University.
  • We partnered with Aetna in getting hand sanitizers for all first-year students, in order to help prevent the spread of germs during the cold and flu season

Chair: Emily Yuhas (

  • Hosted the second Custodial Appreciation Luncheon, which is an event to celebrate and say thanks to the custodial staffs in the first-year dorms
  • Prepared for the third annual Public Service Case Competition that will be held in spring 2019 and will focus on environmental issues  

Student Life
Chair: Ellen Yates (

  • Re-launched the UVA AirBus Initiative, which provided low-cost transportation to students headed to Richmond and Dulles airports before Winter Break
  • Held the University Services Fair, which was meant to highlight the variety of services the University offers and some of the unique resources that they provide, including Dining, Information Technology Services, Student Legal Services, Housing and Residence Life, and Library Services

Chair: Abby Heher (

  • Hosted and co-hosted an array of events with the Office for Sustainability and Green Dining, including the Sustainability Day Clothing Swap, an Alumni-Student Zero Waste Tailgate for the Bicentennial Sustainability Leadership Summit, and a Skip the Straw event at the Pav
  • Continued our Zero Waste program by helping to zero-waste Pancakes for Parkinson’s and a number of smaller events hosted by CIOs

Chair of the Representative Body: Ellie Brasacchio (

  • Passed 16 bills and 13 resolutions, concerning everything from amendments to the Student Council Bylaws to approving newly created CIOs
  • Created two ad-hoc committees, one for the creation of a Transfer Student Handbook, chaired by College Representative Sara Zahir, and one to plan the AL1GN Conference for first-generation and low-income students, chaired by myself and conference Co-Director Josh Farris
  • Began creating the Low Income Resource Handbook, chaired by College Representatives Chi Chan and Matthew Foreman
  • Began outreach to CIOs in order to form better relationships between the Representatives and the students that we represent through our External Affairs Committee, chaired by College Representative Brian Cameron

Vice President for Organizations: Ty Zirkle (

  • Updated the SAF Guidelines for the first time in several years to better meet student needs by expanding acceptable uses of SAF funds with notable changes, including funding food for certain programs, allowing flights for guest speakers, and standardizing certain rates to ensure fairness in the appropriations process
  • Recognized 40 new CIOs this semester, which is the highest number of organizations recognized in a single semester in the last couple of years
  • The Appropriations Committee allocated more than $450,000 to CIOs and restructured to maximize efficiency and internal communication.
  • The Board of Audit and Management began developing tools and tutorials to help student organizations manage their assets.
  • The CIO Consultants Committee coordinated two University-wide Activities Fairs and developed several resources to support student leadership and organizational management.
  • Effectively formed two new committees: the Organizations Recognition Committee, tasked solely with the review of applications for CIO status, and the Board of Audit and Management, tasked with helping CIOs to manage their assets and to increase accountability around the use of Student Activity Fee funds
  • Expanded our CIO Support office hours to include eleven hours each week to meet with students

Vice President for Administration: Taylor Overton (

  • With the help of our Chief Financial Officer, Student Council achieved its most efficient budgetary process
  • Began creating a new Student Council website to ensure that students can access resources as efficiently as possible
  • Membership began composing a boot camp program for new Student Council members to become more familiar with the structures and functions of Student Council
  • Created a formalized process for marketing requests to ensure that communication concerning promotional material is done efficiently