by Fourth Estate Reporter Christopher Morrison
Since its founding at the start of the 2011 school year, Mason’s class councils have been organizing programs and events for their students to create class identity and spirit. However, at the end of this school year, all class councils inside the Office of Student Involvement will be disbanded.
“We are disbanding,” Assistant Director of Programming for the Office of Student Involvement, Michelle Bennett, said. “We are closing the program because we have decided that the programs that [class councils] were putting on are [programs] that our different offices could do and we just don’t have enough staffing to be able to oversee that type of thing in our area.”
Each class council has initiated multiple class activities as well as raised awareness for important class information.
“They were to create spirit initiatives and class comradery through events that were focused towards their classes and then also to provide services that directed information towards their certain classes,” Bennett said.
Over the past few years, the class councils have decreased in size as the organization has reorganized the positions. Currently, there are four students for both thefreshman and sophomore classes, while there are two students for the junior and senior classes.
“We have decreased the size to try and refocus the organization,” Bennett said. “All of the positions were based on liaison positions to different areas, when we shrank it we focused in on one person doing more on the programming, one person doing more of the outreach, one person being the president and one person doing more of the PR.”
According to Bennett, each class council focuses on important information and opportunities that typically apply to the specific year for the class.
“For instance, juniors tend to go on to study abroad so when you are in your sophomore year the student officers would often let their class know when all of those opportunities were coming up,” Bennett said. “And seniors are interested in getting a job, so [class council members] would work a lot with career services to make sure to let you know about all of the career fairs and resume stuff.”
According to Bennett, the significant aspect that class councils brought to the Mason community was that it helped to establish a unified class identity throughout the different classes.
“I think what they brought is some class realization,” Bennett said. “A lot of that will still continue. We really amped up our preamble stuff through our office and OFPS throughout the years to really kind of ignite that.”
On May 1, the class councils will hold a final class wars competition where students will be able to compete in games and activities with their respected class.
“We are going out with a bang and having one big last event at the end of the year for all of the classes,” Bennett said.