This piece was written for “The Towerlight” at Towson University as a contributing writer. Check out this, and other stories from The Towerlight here:
SGA will inaugurate its first Freshman Council this fall in an effort that has been ongoing since the fall 2015 semester.
The council’s goals are to help young students develop leadership skills, to cater directly to the needs of freshmen, to promote freshmen involvement and prepare them with the skills they need to succeed at Towson University.
The Freshman Council is an executive organization of the Student Government Association, with a similar structure to Towson’s Campus Activities Board.
Last year, the SGA voted to create the Freshman Council, but decided to focus on other on-campus issues instead.
“Freshmen know freshmen best, so why not have freshmen advocate for freshmen?” SGA Vice President James Mileo said.
Freshman Erica Jones said she feels that the council is a “great idea.”
“I’m glad the SGA is starting this organization to better the lives of freshmen, and help fix freshmen-related issues such as homesickness,” Jones said.
As SGA vice president, it is Mileo’s job to develop and maintain this new organization.
Mileo wrote a curriculum for the council that includes topics such as communication skills, project management skills and how to set up a meeting with an administrator.
SGA advisors will act as mentors to help freshman members conduct meetings and set up events.
“The idea is all the people who have been a member of the Freshman Council can go into any organization on campus and effectively plan an event, effectively communicate as a team, effectively set up meetings with administrators and effect change on campus,” Mileo said.
One of the other goals and potential outcomes of Freshman Council is increasing Towson’s freshmen retention rates.
In the 2014-2015 school year, the retention rate for all first-time degree-seeking students was 85.7 percent, according to data from the Office of Institutional Research.
Freshman Council will hold weekly meetings, and sponsor events targeted to freshmen. Only 20 members will be appointed by Mileo.
In addition to a review of the applicant’s application, Mileo will also hold interviews as part of the appointment process.
Students can apply for the council at towsonsga.org. All applications are due to the SGA office by Sept. 16.