Search for new dean of students down to four

By Sarah Hollis | 3/26/18 1:34am

GVL / Sara Carte Chase Dolan speaks at the Campus Life Summit in the Mary Idema Pew Library on Friday, March 23.

As the end of the 2017-18 academic year approaches, the Grand Valley State University student senate continues to work on finishing projects and preparing for the transition to a new body. The general assembly on Thursday, March 22, had an agenda full of important information. 

The most notable announcement during the general assembly was that the search for the new vice provost for student affairs and dean of students is nearing completion. While the names of the final four candidates are still confidential, the dates and times of when they will be giving presentations at GVSU have been released. 

Each candidate will come to GVSU on their own day, give a presentation about themselves and why they should have the position, and meet the faculty and staff they could potentially be working with. The dates are Friday, March 30; Tuesday, April 3; Thursday, April 5; and Friday, April 6. All the presentations will be from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. 

“This position sits on the provost cabinet, which oversees all of academics," said student senate president Jonathan Bowman. "So, it’s a really important position to be able to be connected with students, to know what students are going through, to have a good relationship with students, and so obviously we want whoever is in that position to be student-centered, student-focused and have student concerns in mind when making decisions.”

More progress has also been made regarding the possibility of a fall break at GVSU. Nothing can be confirmed yet, but recommendations from the fall break task force were brought to the executive committee of the senate (ECS) on Friday, March 23. 

“Really, it’s still all up in the air, unfortunately," Bowman said. "ECS discussions will happen (Friday), and then it’ll go, hopefully, to the University Academic Senate, to their general body. Then they’ll make a firm decision. I hope that we’ll have a good result after the next couple weeks.” 

The ECS tabled the discussion to a future meeting as more options are discussed, according to Bowman. 

While the current senate body is continuing to work on its own projects, the senators are also preparing transition reports for the new body to continue where they will leave off. Elections for the new body will begin Monday, March 26, at 8 a.m. and end Sunday, April 1, at 11:59 p.m.

“You can vote for 10 candidates; you only get to vote once, and once you click 'submit,' you can’t go back," Bowman said. "So, you could just vote for five the first time, click submit, and you can’t go back and add five more. So, just make sure you know all 10 the first time around.”

Senate members believe it's important for all students to vote in the student senate elections because these are the people who will be representing their voices on campus.

“The student senate elections are a super pivotal time of the school year for the student body," said Morgan Mattler, chair of the public relations committee. "This is when students come together and vote for who is representing their interests, their complaints, their concerns, their worries, anything and everything about their student experience. 

“Keep an eye out for Facebook events. I know a lot of candidates make those. This is really the time where you want to find the most qualified, the most poised and the most intelligent individuals that are going to represent the student body to the best of their ability.” 

GVSU students will be able to vote in the student senate elections at GVSU’s student senate meets every Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in the Pere Marquette Room of the Kirkhof Center for its general assembly.

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