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StuComm Pilot Programs Take Off

By Graham Key, Contributor

Kalamazoo College’s Student Commission sustained new policy and procedural changes this fall in a continued effort to increase the organization’s visibility and accessibility.

The Student Commission’s latest additions come in the form of two primary pilot programs.  The first pilot program, known as StuComm Fellows, speaks to the often-grey area between unelected StuComm hopefuls and the board itself.  According to Student Commission President Darrin Camilleri, the Fellows program addresses the need for inclusion and experience amongst anyone interested in Student Commission.

Student Commission Vice President Cameron Goodall agrees.

“A lot of times, there’s people who want to be on the commission, they want to help out, and then after the elections, they don’t get in and they’re kind of cut off it seems, and then they don’t know what to do,” Goodall said.  “It’s a more official way of getting people integrated into StuComm.  It’s more hands-on, I suppose, which is something we haven’t done before.”

The second of Student Commission’s pilot programs is a campaign finance reform, placing a $15 cap on candidate campaign spending.  Although Goodall felt ambivalent about the measure at first, the opportunity for an even presentation of candidates allowed him to lend his support to the $15 spending cap.

“I didn’t really think it was much of an issue before, but it makes sense to have a level playing field for the amount of money that people can use,” Goodall said. “It’s hard to get your name out there if you’re a freshman in fall quarter, because you don’t have a lot of interactions with other students yet.”

First-Year Candidates Amanda Johnson and Samantha Weaver were at first apprehensive about the cap, but saw moral and practical upsides.

“I was worried at first that it was going to hinder me, but I’ve been able to print more than enough things,” Johnson said.

“I wasn’t able to be as creative in my campaigning as I would like, but I understand that even funds benefit the campaign as a whole.  You shouldn’t have to buy votes,” Weaver said.