The House of Student Representatives passed a bill last Tuesday that sets aside $750 for the rest of the year to be spent on presents for chosen faculty and staff members. The gifts will be awarded based on student nominations, but the the Student Outreach Committee of House will make the final decision.
“I’m sure it will probably be more of a discussion because that’s how our committee works,” Outreach Committee member and Class of 2017 representative Emily Vaught said. “I’m sure it will be a unanimous agreement.”
The committee has not decided if the nominations will be taken on a rolling basis or not, but the number of times a person is nominated will be a factor, Vaught said.
Students who want to nominate a faculty or staff member can send their nomination, along with a few sentences about why their nominee deserves recognition, via email to either the Outreach Committee Chair Kelsey Ritchie or the SGA Vice President of Operations Ryker Thompson.
“It’s a very just relaxed program,” Thompson said. “It’s Outreach Committee taking nominations and just honoring faculty and staff that make students day special.”
The current plans for gifts will be something small, such as a Tiff Treat’s Cookie. Vaught said this is because the program is meant to be just a token of student appreciation, not a large award.
“We were just thinking small, small things,” Vaught said. “There are teachers and staff members at TCU who do great things every day, and maybe they are not deserving of the professor of the year award ,but they deserve recognition.”
TCU Faculty Senate Chair Stathis Michaelides said he thinks the program is a good idea.
“We’ll love it,” Michaelides said. “I think this will be a very civilized gesture.”
He suggested a plaque, a book and a TCU tie or mug as examples of gifts he thought would faculty would enjoy.
“Something which is more permanent would be a better thing,” Michaelides said.
Staff Assembly Chair Jay Iorizzo, the director of campus recreation, also said he thought the program was a good idea.
“I think the staff here at TCU are honored that the students would be willing to recognize the staff for their hard work,” Iorizzo said. “We the staff truly value the students because it’s really the students who keep us going, keep us energized day in and day out, and for them to reach out and say thank you to us is going to be a tremendous boost in morale and confidence in the staff.”
Iorizzo said he would recommend something that the staff could use as a good gift to represent the students’ recognition. He still uses the TCU cup he received last year as a thank you present.
“I think something I can see and use day in and day out,” Iorizzo said. “Something where I can see the students recognizing the hard work that staff and faculty put into the life of the university is just a great constant, daily reminder to keep us energized and focused on being the best we can be.”
Thompson, who co-authored the bill, came up with the idea because he said he thought it would help continue to promote the loving TCU community and make everyone feel more connected.
While there is no set date of when the first faculty or staff member will be recognized, Thompson said he has already had people telling him they are excited to nominate someone.
“Our thought was that there are a lot of people at TCU that do a lot of little things on a daily basis,” Vice President of Operations and bill co-author Ryker Thompson said. “When you get just a simple thank you card, it’s so simple, but it makes your day. I hope that through this we can make someone’s day and make them feel appreciated.”