New Student Leaders Focus on Improvements

UT Dallas News Center Arts And Humanities

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April 10, 2017
J.W. Van Der SchansAfter serving in Student Government at The University of Texas at Dallas, two students from the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences say they’ve figured out ways to help the campus organization run smoother.Their ideas have paid off.UT Dallas students have elected J.W. Van Der Schans, an international political economy senior, as their new Student Government president, and Alex Holcomb, an economics sophomore, as vice president.Van Der Schans worked as secretary and treasurer, and Holcomb served on the legislative affairs committee when they realized Student Government could use some improved communication and accountability.“I had been in Student Government so long that it showed me problems with the organization. Knowing I could fix them and that others would have my back, I decided to run,” Van Der Schans said.The pair ran uncontested on the Comet Unity ticket with a platform that includes improving communication and accountability to get the job done.Van Der Schans and Holcomb want to streamline communication so that the executive council can keep up with the status of committee projects and provide feedback quickly. For instance, they believe storing committee reports on Google Docs, rather than emailing them back and forth, would speed up the review process by giving everyone access to the same document at once.Improving communication with the student body is another goal. For one thing, they would like more input from students about setting priorities for Student Government.“Typically we’re elected, and then we do what we think needs to be done rather than be constituency-led. We want Student Government to be a representative body,” Van Der Schans said.Making sure that elected student officials complete projects is a huge item on their to-do list.Alex Holcomb“We’re looking for self-motivated people,” Holcomb said, adding …

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