Council of Student Leaders hopes to unite campus
By Tori Cummings
Posted August 30, 2012
Posted August 30, 2012
The first open meeting of The Council of Student Leaders (CSL) took place on Thursday, the same day it received approval as a new student organization.
Co-founder Jordan Mazurek said CSL’s goal is to create an equal environment for student organizations that would bridge social and economic divisions on campus.
"Frog Camp and orientation painted the university as a tight knit community that was all rainbows and butterflies," Mazurek said. But after spending time on campus, Mazurek said he thought something was missing.
"The missing parts were true interaction and dialogue," Mazurek said. He said he also noticed boundaries between people who looked different from each other, and between people from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
He said the Student Government Association (SGA) plays an important role at the university, but doesn’t provide a place for community-building or dialogue.
CSL will have six committees composed of representatives from student organizations, Mazurek said. The committee heads will comprise a cabinet that leads committee tasks.
Senior business and Spanish double major Gabriella Jimenez said she attended the meeting because of the current issues in Intercom. She said she previously served on Intercom and wanted to see if CSL could help with future campus problems.
“We need organizations to be together and to know who's representing each organization," she said. "But [we shouldn't] just group them into one certain organization because they might look the same, or because they might not be the traditional students that they are."
Mazurek said that with CSL, student organizations could present issues through a student representative. The council wants to cut through divisions in the community using dialogue.
Student Body Vice President of Operations Josh Simpson said CSL's name created confusion for SGA because the name implies they represent the entire student population.
Simpson said no organization will replace SGA, and the university recognizes SGA as the official voice of collective student opinion.
If CSL operates as a student organization, their issues could be brought to the administration or TCU officials by way of , Simpson said.
"There is a conflict between what CSL says they do and what they are doing," Simpson said. "Right now the council represents issues more than student organizations and, even after meeting with the leaders of CSL, the goals of the group are unclear to SGA."
Mazurek said eventually CSL wants to represent everyone on campus. He said CSL will give organizations a chance for members to talk about things that matter to them as students.
SGA and CSL could work like a system of checks and balances, he said. They could work together to improve each other.
Any institutional changes CSL wants to make on campus must go through SGA, Simpson said. SGA would listen to their ideas and to the reaction of the student body.
“If one of those ideas seems really pertinent to all students, then we may adapt it in SGA and kind of use it as a resource for understanding an issue better and taking action on it,” Simpson said. “But I think, as a whole, the partnership really depends on them at this point because I don’t know what they need, only they do.”
After taking two years to launch the organization with nine other students, Mazurek left CSL Thursday night to prepare for graduation in December, but said he wants to stay involved with CSL as a representative.
Taylor Prater contributed to this article.
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