As Vice President I served as the liaison for the Catholic Council Network (CCN) and for clubs and households. Additionally, I worked with every committee and acted as a secondary advisor.
Catholic Council Network
The liaisons of the CCN appointed me as Coordinator of the Network, which entailed coordinating meeting times, facilitating conversation and discussion, and recruiting additional student governments.
Ave Maria hosted the spring conference in February, and I organized and directed the planning and execution of the conference. I started planning for the conference over Christmas break, leaving about two months to put everything together. I wish I had started sooner because it was more planning than expected. Overall, the conference went very well. We picked our guests up from the airport, provided rooms in Xavier Hall, and provided several meals. The bulk of the conference discussions took place on Saturday.
Noah Blanchard, the Director of Student Life, gave a talk on Authentic Leadership, Assessing Your Organization, and Image. President Towey came and talked to our group about St. Teresa of Calcutta and the importance of being leaders. We had a breakout session where the corresponding positions met to discuss their roles. Each university gave a presentation which discussed their strengths and weaknesses. Professor Anne Marchetti, an assistant professor of accounting, gave a talk on Personal Wellness, Relationships, Communication, and Accountability. Finally, we had formal and informal group discussion.
We surveyed attending members of the conference, and the ratings were on a 1-5 scale (5 being excellent). Here are a few highlights:
Overall Satisfaction 4.5
Breakout Session 4.7
Thoughts Moving Forward
At the beginning of the year, I gave a presentation to club leaders and household leaders. This presentation gave an overview of how to submit a bill, precedent, and what Student Government does. Overall, the presentation was well received and helpful.
The VP's job as liaison to the Network is enough to keep someone busy all year. I would recommend clarifying goals on the clubs and households front, and designating specific roles to all the liaisons in The Network. The CCN does not currently have a permanent leader. Every year, the student governments change with elections. I believe it would be beneficial to establish a deeper relationship with the Cardinal Newman Society. The Network schools do not want them to take over but perhaps act as a resource and mentor for conferences and growth.
Regarding specific roles for the liaisons of the CCN, we should consider roles such as coordinator of communications, marketing, recruiting, a secretary, etc. This is important so everybody is involved and the work is evenly distributed.
The website also needs to be properly maintained and updated. All material posted and designed needs to follow the marketing and design that is already put in place. It is currently the primary way for us to explain The Network and it's mission so it's very important.
The Executive Board, as student government leaders, sets the tone for the Council. When leadership remains positive and optimistic, the representatives will react accordingly.