Student body president proposes new structure for executive branch

The executive branch of student government will propose a new structure of positions, affecting the class of 2026. Photo courtesy of Student Government

By Ana Ruiz Brictson | Staff Writer

Student government’s executive branch will be proposing a new structure for the organization on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to which officer positions may be removed, beginning with the freshman class of 2026.

Sierra Vista, Ariz., senior and student body president Gracie Kelliher has been working since fall 2020 to create a new structure for the executive branch. Her proposal relies on removing the freshman, sophomore and junior officer positions while continuing to have 13 student senators from each class in the team for class representation.

Kelliher has been working on a legislative proposal, which can be found here. She said the highlighted parts are the changes her team has made.

According to Kelliher, each class is responsible for specific tasks throughout the year.

“[The freshmen’s] job description is one philanthropic project, so that can be anything that they decide to do that year,” Kelliher said.

Sophomores used to be responsible for the Housing Fair, as they were most informed about housing since they moved off campus most recently. However, Baylor no longer directly oversees the Housing Fair and now relies on a third-party platform that helps connect students to landlords. As a result, sophomores are in charge of organizing the custodian banquet — an appreciation event for Baylor’s custodial staff.

Juniors help the student foundation with All-University Thanksgiving and organize the Sic Hunger Food Drive.

Lastly, seniors choose the senior class gift and work with the student foundation to fundraise and advertise what the senior class will give back to Baylor as its gift.

One of Kelliher’s major concerns was the indirect tie of the projects each class has to its class representation.

“That doesn’t mean that they’re not important,” Kelliher said. “But it does mean, are we using these positions the most efficiently that we can?”

Kelliher said one of her goals for this year was to create a more efficient and streamlined organization that is centered on its mission.

“Our mission is advocating for students,” Kelliher said. “It’s being representative and advocating on what students need and want to administration.”

According to Kelliher, her plan to remove class officer representation for freshmen, sophomores and juniors will not take full effect until 2026, when all current classes have graduated from Baylor.

Kelliher said if the proposal were to be voted in favor of by students, the incoming freshman class would no longer have class officers.

“This is no one’s fault,” Kelliher said. “No one that’s had the position has done anything wrong. It’s just the structure hasn’t served them or facilitated an environment where they can thrive as representatives.”

Kelliher said she has been asking all class officers for their thoughts, and they have expressed to her that they believe it is a good idea.

“It passed the Senate unanimously, which is huge,” Kelliher said. “Nobody voted against it.”

Cypress sophomore and sophomore class president Collin Bass said when he served as freshman class president, there wasn’t much for him to do.

“It’s just kind of sad that there’s nothing for us to do, but even though we want to do stuff, there’s just no specific action to be taken,” Bass said.

According to Kelliher, no other school in the Big 12 has class officers within its student government.

Kelliher said when there are two people in officer positions, it won’t be overwhelming for them to handle all tasks that all class officers currently take care of.

Bass said it is not time consuming to plan an event like the custodian banquet. Additionally, he said all responsibilities are held during different times throughout the year, meaning tasks will not be overwhelming for the senior officers in charge by 2026.

“Right now, we have all class officers doing their one project, and then there’s really no other involvement because we’re not involved in Senate, and then we go to the meetings and there’s nothing for us to share,” Bass said. “It’s just kind of like, why are we even here in the first place?”

Bass said it will be good for two officers to take responsibility on all class projects because it will give them enough work to do throughout the year rather than having periods of time when they aren’t involved.

Kelliher said she wants to emphasize that the point of this restructuring is not to take away students’ voices or minimize their current representation.

“I just think that knowing student government’s purpose and how it functions in advocating to administration, you only get so many opportunities to do that,” Kelliher said. “It has to be really streamlined and organized, and the goal for this is to do just that.”