Student Council is restructuring its recruitment and retainment process by eliminating interviews and applications in an effort to increase inclusivity and diversity.
The previously used recruitment process, which included both an application and in-person interview, will be replaced with a quiz and review of attendance, a change which Student Council President Abraham Axler, a third-year College student, said will address issues with diversity, exclusivity and competitive culture.
The organization has come to embody a growing problem of exclusivity and competition among University student organizations, Axler said, a reality which is paradoxical to its goals. Additionally, the former recruitment techniques were failing to accurately predict the performance of the small percentage of applicants allowed to join Student Council.
“Interviews and applications are, in general, poor indicators of future performance,” read a statement released by Student Council. “Furthermore, how can we claim to be working on behalf of all students if we’re rejecting nearly 90% of all those who want to help?”
Instead of being competitive, the recruitment process will become more open, letting anyone join who demonstrates interest. Anyone willing to put in the time and effort to be a part of Council can be, Axler said.
He emphasized that the quiz on student self governance, University governance and Student Council can be taken more than once.
“As an organization we are savvy enough about structure and how to create projects that people could work on that we would just become a more productive organization,” Axler said. “You couldn’t get into a situation where there’s too many people who are willing to do work.”
While members of Student Council expressed concern over the new process generating too many members, Axler said he doesn’t expect this to be the case. He noted the high time commitment of being an active member often deters people from pursuing it.
“A lot of people show interest in it but a much fewer number group of people are willing to put in the work,” he said.
Third-year Batten student Jahvonta Mason, co-chair of Student Council’s diversity initiatives committee and chair of the Black Male Initiative, said he applauds the effort.
“I think that’s a major initiative that should be undertaken across the University, across almost all organizations,” Mason said.
Mason said he had a mixed reaction to the elimination of the interview process.
“I don’t personally believe there’s anything wrong with the interview process, per se,” Mason said. “That being said, we know that when you meet someone face-to-face and you see them there are certain biases that all people [have].”
Michelle Wang, a third-year Commerce student, compared the recruitment changes to the Honor Committee process, which includes a quiz in the first round.
“But I know that Honor also has an interview process afterward,” Wang said.