Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Monday, November 18, 2019 — Houston, TX 54°

Student Association to conduct organizational audit

By Rynd Morgan     10/29/19 10:09pm

The Student Association Senate presented a plan to conduct an audit of itself at the SA Senate meeting on Monday, Oct. 28. Sid Richardson College president McKinzie Chambers and Martel College Prime Minister Tanner Reese will lead the task force in charge of the audit.

The mission of the audit is “to create a more robust, functional and effective Student Association leadership structure that can help the SA fulfill its mission statement,” according to the presentation. 

“We acknowledge that the SA [Senate] structure has not been looked at in quite a long time,” Wickerson, a Brown College senior, said. “This is, for me, a really important mission because I’ve been working on organizational effectiveness for over three years now, and so it’s exciting now to see this audit happen and see us really review the way we do things.”

The objectives of the audit are to identify gaps in communication and effectiveness within the current structure of the SA Senate, clarify roles to strengthen their ability to impact change on campus, and to fill current SA Senate policy gaps.

According to Wickerson, the SA Senate has already been working to find and fill policy gaps, such as the creation of the director of interpersonal violence policy position.

“The director of interpersonal violence policy was a position created last spring to fill a gap that we had in terms of like talking about personal violence [and] how we prevent that,” Wickerson said. “That was something where we saw a certain gap, we filled it, but I think there’s definitely other groups in which other roles or responsibilities of the SA ... could be better served by focusing on specific policy areas that students are really asking us to work on.”

Wickerson said that the process of the audit would begin with data collection, including a list of current positions in the SA Senate, a survey of members of the SA Senate, comparisons to peer institutions and student body input.

Over winter break and potentially through the early spring semester, the SA Senate will produce a presentation of their findings and then make changes based on those findings, according to Wickerson.

Chambers said that her goals in the task force will be based on her previous experiences in various SA Senate positions, and be focused on both improving communication within the SA Senate and communication from the SA Senate to the rest of the student body.

“I’m here to make this efficient and to make the SA [Senate] as effective as possible, to better serve not only people who work in the Student Association but the people that we serve as well,” Chambers, a Sid Rich senior, said. “I think the SA does have a gap with how we communicate to the student body and people who aren’t in this meeting right now, so that’s one goal.”

More from The Rice Thresher

NEWS 11/17/19 3:53pm
Pompeo confronts foreign policy, but not impeachment in 'quid pro quo' visit to Baker Institute

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke about the “natural hunger for human freedom,” criticized the Communist Party of China and fielded questions regarding U.S. foreign policy in countries  such as Syria and Mexico as part of his Friday visit to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. Outside the event and in the Rice Memorial Center, students staged demonstrations in response to his visit. 

NEWS 11/15/19 2:18pm
Houston Coalition meets to discuss Community Benefits Agreement regarding The Ion

The Houston Coalition for Equitable Development without Displacement, a group that includes many Third Ward community organizations as well as the Student Coalition for a Just and Equitable Innovation Corridor, was officially established in a meeting on Nov. 12 to secure a community benefits agreement with Rice Management Company they continue to develop the innovation corridor, according to the Student Coalition’s Facebook page.


Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.