New Student Advisory Committee will bring student voice to SIF

Student Council will head the advisory committee

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Student Council members had previously expressed a desire to have more incluence in the decisions regarding the use of the Strategic Investment Fund.

Richard Dizon | Cavalier Daily

The Board of Visitors recently approved the creation of the Student Advisory Committee to the Strategic Investment Fund, which will give the student body greater input into the decision-making process regarding the SIF.

The fund was authorized in Feb. 2016 and will be used to fund projects that will benefit the University and the student body. The BOV has discussed using some of the funds to create an AccessUVa endowment.

While an advisory committee was already in place to discuss the feasibility of project funding, there were few opportunities for student voices until the SAC was proposed.

“The Student Advisory Committee would sit adjacent to the Advisory Committee and provide feedback on proposals that seek to improve the student experience,” Emily Lodge, Student Council president and fourth-year Batten student, said in an email to students on Dec. 1. “The committee would identify proposals or features of proposals they believe the student body would not receive positively, as well as those proposals that they think provide students with the greatest benefits.”

The idea for a Student Advisory Committee was first brought up at a Student Council meeting and discussed amongst its members with the goal of giving students more say in SIF proposals.

“By giving us the opportunity to evaluate proposals related to the student experience, we uphold the values of student self-governance and can provide valuable insight into the student perspective,” the Student Council wrote in its proposal to the BOV.

At the November Board of Visitors meeting, ad-hoc committee leader Vice Rector Frank Conner approved the formation of the Student Advisory Committee.

“Because students are the experts on the student experience, I think the student committee’s opinion will be very beneficial when the Advisory Committee is trying to evaluate proposals that involve the student experience,” Student BOV member Phoebe Willis, a Law and Darden student, said in an email to The Cavalier Daily.

The Student Advisory Committee will be chaired by the Student Council president, according to the organization’s proposal to the Board of Visitors.

“The Committee would identify proposals or features of proposals they, the student body, would not receive positively, as well as those proposals that they think will provide students with the greatest benefits,” the proposal wrote.

Student involvement in the Student Advisory Committee outside of Student Council members is encouraged. In her Dec. 1 email to the student body, Lodge said any interested students could apply via the Student Member of the Board of Visitor’s Facebook page until Jan. 18.

Lodge did not respond to requests for comment.

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