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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

With our whole “stand up and yodel” day of giving in our collective recent memories, I think it would be fitting to talk about our class councils.

When I sat in Senate listening to an explanation of why UF’s Student Government was creating class councils, we were told that “some of the best, high achieving student governments are those with class councils.” Now, some of the best, highest achieving student governments out there also have online voting, but that hasn’t made us emulate them in that aspect (just saying). We have a long way to go before even remotely becoming a “just okay” student government.

Anyhow, the point of this is to get more people to donate money to UF, so our alumni participation rate (APR) goes up as well as our ranking. Class councils are supposed to increase each class’ sense of community in hopes that more people open their hearts (and their wallets) later on.

Now it’s getting pretty close to the end of the semester so I think we should probably take a good look back at what these councils have actually done

But enough of my negativity, let’s go over what these councils have accomplished.

The first “event” that the class councils claim credit for is the “Blue Out” during the football game against Louisiana State University according to Student Body President Ian Green.

The next event I’ve seen is the “President’s Dinner,” which was also branded as the “My Gift. Our Legacy” kickoff, when the email went out. To my understanding, presidents of student organizations, who seemed like they would be graduating soon, were invited.

The event was both cool and well executed. I mean President Fuchs was there, so that really makes it an automatic 10/10 for me.

But it was a darn good-looking event, too, hosted at the Champion’s Club (high up in the football stadium), with fancy catering and featuring a good overview of the different entities within UF that students can donate to. I guess you could say Senior Class President Trevor Pope did a great job.

I was standing in line for some of the fancy food when I heard someone ask “Pope a good boss?” and the person responded, “Yeah, he is.” Some may say all I do is roast SG, but I believe in giving credit where credit is due.

However, that one event is basically all I've seen. I can’t say I’ve seen any programming from the freshman, sophomore or junior class councils though which is perhaps concerning.

In defense of the multiple councils, a lot of the proposed events were senior-centric and will likely occur at the end of the year, so I’m not sure how the “younger” councils grew into their roles. I know there was an event aimed at the junior class that was canceled due to “technical difficulties.” I also may have not received communication aimed at different classes (but I will contend that I probably would have still noticed other councils’ events).

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I’m not sure if everyone deserves to flaunt their positions, as they do now on LinkedIn. It just feels like there was and is a lot of untapped potential within these councils. Or, I hope, I just don’t know about the work all these councils have done. If that’s the case, we need more communication and transparency. There are 27 people (from my last count) on the class councils. What are they doing?

If we are going to be out there building cohesion for every class, we need to be out there putting in the elbow grease to indoctrinate our younger classes as well. This may be the way in which we can get more alumni participation. It's possible we will plant the seeds of alumni participation. As they say: “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is today.”

Zachariah Chou is a UF political science junior and Murphree Area senator. His column appears on Fridays.

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