This year’s decision by the Nominating Committee to elect rising juniors into two clerk positions caused controversy.
In the past, clerk positions were traditionally filled by seniors (with the notable exception of Adalberto Rosado, elected two years ago to be Diversity Committee Co-Clerk as a junior). However, this year Nominating Committee elected rising juniors Jess Ferber and Maura DiVentura as Recording Clerk and Co-Agenda Clerk, respectively.
Ms. Taylor-Williams, the Faculty advisor to Nominating Committee, spoke of the change in culture: “It is a shift… The feeling that I heard in Nominating Committee was that people within the student community are less engaged, so, there are sort of two ideas. One, to have a broader base of age level leadership… second was to make student government more accessible. It creates ways for classes to meet more often, do things that matter to the class, and also understand what’s going on.”
Rising junior and recording clerk-to-be Jess Ferber had this to say: “I think it’s a positive thing because it will allow for a wider viewpoint and age ranges… If younger grades see underclassmen applying for leadership roles in student government, they will be more likely to be active in student government.”
Josh Murdy, Clerk of 2015 Nominating Committee said: “During the beginning of Nominating Committee we made a conscious decision to expand student government. Previously, it was off putting to freshmen and sophomores who felt that only upperclassmen could participate. Bringing in rising juniors will ideally create an atmosphere that is accepting for all students, no matter what grade.”
Nominating Committee’s process for deciding next year’s clerks may have been controversial because the concept of “seniority” was not considered, but the committee certainly succeeded in their goals, not only to broaden participation in clerking roles regardless of age or grade, but to spark debate and discussion around student government policies.