VSG lays out goals and changes for the year

Sarah Friedman, Senior Writer

Overall, Vanderbilt Student Government (VSG) hopes to achieve two goals this academic year: increasing transparency between administration and the student body, and focusing on transitioning VSG from a programming-heavy body to one that works with student groups to achieve their own goals, said VSG’s Director of Communications Molly Wolfe.

To work towards making VSG more transparent, the executive board plans to hold monthly “listening sessions” in which any member of the student body can voice concerns, as well as weekly “office hours” for student and organizational concerns. In addition, they plan on transferring power from the executive branch to the committee branch in order to change former years’ top-down approach to a more bottom-up model, Wolfe said.

VSG also plans on more closely interconnecting the Commons Leadership Council (CLC), the group of 95 first-year Commons house presidents, vice presidents, first-year senators, public relations chairs, house service commissioners and floor representatives, with main VSG efforts. The first-year senator position was added this year to lessen the strain on house presidents and prepare first years to hold senate positions as upperclassmen, said Monica Peacock, VSG’s Director of First-Year Relations.

There will also be more communication between the CLC and main campus VSG, as each member of the first-year team will be attending meetings of a different branch of VSG and reporting back to the CLC, Peacock said.

The VSG cabinet, the smallest branch of the organization which focuses on internal issues, hopes to create new ways to inform the student body about VSG’s successes and develop all members of VSG as leaders, said VSG’s Chief of Staff Julia Gabriel. To accomplish this, they plan on providing members with professional development opportunities and holding all members accountable for attending events that VSG cosponsors.

This year, the VSG senators, who represent and advocate for each of the academic schools and residential areas on campus, will be focusing more on long-term goals and policy so that they can make lasting changes on the Vanderbilt community, Wolfe said. Senator elections will occur mid-September.

The committee branch, the largest branch of VSG consisting of 100 students divided into nine committees, plans on balancing short- and long- term initiatives this year. They also plan on making the committee branch a more collaborative body who works on initiatives with students outside of VSG. Currently, there are over 50 initiatives in the committee branch, Wolfe said.