By Mandie Barnes, Student, Weber State University (Utah)
The American Democracy Project is all about by the people, for the people. Students are a lot of ADP’s people, and ADP National wants to give them a voice.
After attending last year’s national meeting in San Antonio, I, along with other students present, realized that we did not have many opportunities to share our opinions on what we were doing on our campuses and our ideas with other students. There weren’t many workshops that allowed us to learn specifically from other students and really relate to one another. ADP wants to inform and engage students, and we thought that should be something that occurs not only throughout the academic year through the work on our campuses, but at the national meeting as well. And we decided to see if we could help make that happen.
While I was at the conference I remember talking with other students in the workshops, in the elevator, even at dinner, about how we wished students could play a bigger role at this conference. These discussions stuck with me after I left San Antonio, and I began discussing it with my adviser at Weber State University (Utah). She encouraged me to make it happen, and ADP National Manager Jennifer Domagal-Goldman was ready to help.
Since that initial conversation occurred, the idea about creating more opportunities for students at the national meeting has morphed and propelled a greater vision forward:
Our goal is not only to reach students more at the annual conference but throughout the entire year.
The American Democracy Project is looking to establish a National Student Advisory Council that will offer students’ voices a conduit from their campuses to the program’s national manager. The council will be comprised of current undergraduate/graduate students at AASCU member institutions participating in ADP, and it will be steered by an executive board, made up of a smaller group of the same students, who will offer leadership to their ADP peers across the country and facilitate exchanges of ideas on current issues, various ADP-related topics and campus and national initiatives, programs and events.
We invite students and faculty to attend the ADP National Student Advisory Council Info Session at #ADPTDC13 in Denver to learn more about how you can get involved, and in true ADP fashion, tell us how we can better inform and engage students on your campus. This session will be held on Friday, June 7, 2013, from 5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Denver Ballroom, Suite IV.
Also, rumor has it they’re throwing a mixer for students following our session–stay tuned for more on that. And, if you are an ADP student and have not already done so, be sure to join the Facebook group!