Made up of 28 members, Student Congress aims to express the voices of the student body. Alongside fellow members, the Executive Board, consisting of Jason Gomory (President), Chandler Alberda (Vice President), Leah Asen (Controller) and Holden Dippel (Controller Elect), serve to empower the students. “As the Hope College Student Body President, I serve as the chief representative of the students, dedicated to understanding and empowering the voice of my peers in institutional decisions and communication with senior administrators, faculty, staff and the Board of Trustees regarding concerns of the student body,” Gomory said. “I meet regularly with President Voskuil, Provost Short-Thompson and Dean Frost to advocate on behalf of my peers, voicing concerns of the student body and discussing ways to solve them.” Like the President, the Vice President works to understand and share the voices and concerns of students with the administration. “A main part of my role is the internal affairs of student congress such as organizing meetings and workflow,” Alberda said. “Each day as the vice president brings a new and unique task.” The Controller has a large variety of responsibilities. “One of my biggest responsibilities is to work with my committee to allocate the Student Activity Fee (which is part of our tuition cost).
This money funds all of the student groups here on campus,” Asen said. Asen also works alongside Dippel, the Controller Elect. “[We] manage the student group accounts, special project funds and our endowed account,” Asen said. “We love working with the other members of Congress on all of their projects as well.” Each Monday, General Congress eetings are held from 7:30-9:00 p.m. These meetings are open to any student who wants to attend. Each meeting covers a wide variety of topics, from committee and board updates, to a business portion, allowing members to discuss both the old and new concerns of students. “Occasionally we are joined by guest speakers such as President Voskuil, Provost ShortThompson and our advisor, Dean Frost,” Gomory said.
Specifically during the 2018-2019 school year, Student Congress is focusing on campus security, course evaluations, academic regalia at commencement and the Bultman Student Center. However, more specific goals are still in the works. Being on the Executive Board is a large task, but each member has a passion for representing his/her fellow students. “I have always had a passion for improving the communities and organizations that I am a part of,” Alberda said. “I love Hope College and I knew I wanted to have a hand in making this campus the best that it can be.” Like Alberda, Gomory also strives to better the Hope community. “One of my passions is to listen to people’s stories, concerns, wants and needs, grievances and passions,” Gomory said. Student Congress provides me the opportunity to turn this listening into action by taking the stories I have heard to those who need to hear them.” Asen also shares the same passion, as required of a member of Student Congress. “I was really passionate about giving back to the school,” Asen said. “Through Congress, I have the opportunity to serve as a voice for the students and advocate for positive changes on campus.” All students are encouraged to communicate their thoughts with Student Congress. “We strive to advocate on behalf of all students and we want every student to know they have a place where they can be heard,” Gomory said.
To get involved with Student Congress, attend a meeting or email congress@ hope.edu.