StuCo to hold first annual elections

Each semester, the University catalog lists a number of three-unit Student College, or ?StuCo,? classes, in addition to standard course offerings. While a student?s class list may consist of Interpretation and Argument, Intro to Programming and other core requirements, StuCos allow students to explore more varied subjects ranging from dance classes to beer brewing. Until now, Carnegie Mellon?s StuCo has been a somewhat informal organization, with no structured procedure of succession. On April 22, that will change when StuCo holds its first annual elections.
Thomas Terraccino, a senior in business administration and the current president of StuCo, said that the program, which has existed at Carnegie Mellon for only four years, is looking to make its succession of leaders more stable. Prior to these elections, the process ?was obviously very informal; it wasn?t public at all.? According to Terraccino, it was simply a matter of whom you knew in StuCo.
On April 22, StuCo will make their elections ?more democratic,? says Terraccino, by electing a marketing manager, a financial manager, and a tech manager.
?The structure of the executive committee will be pretty much the same,? he added. The main difference will be how students ascend to their positions.
The technology manager, a new position, will be responsible for maintaining StuCo?s website. Currently, the marketing manager and financial manager both publicize StuCo classes and deal with StuCo funding, which as of now comes ad hoc from Dean Murphy.
In addition to a new elections process, Terraccino said there was discussion of ?exploring the different options? for funding. StuCo officers are also drafting a constitution and a vision document.
Neil Sanyal, a sophomore in business administration and StuCo?s current marketing manager, said, ?I do think [elections] are necessary ... for reasons of solidifying the organization.?
The StuCo course selection committee will not change as a result of the elections. As of now, a board of roughly six StuCo officers and faculty go over submitted proposals and interview students interested in teaching. Terraccino said that course selection was ?a process that we?re pretty content with.?
According to Terraccino, there are roughly 500 students taking StuCos in any semester, and class sizes run as large as 150 people (such as the popular class 98-032 Wall Street 101). A class proposal is rarely turned down, even if it appeals to only four or five students.
When asked if any classes have ever been rejected for inappropriateness, Terraccino replied, ?There aren?t any that have been rejected solely because of that fact.? Sanyal added that if there were any concerns with a proposal, the students and faculty on the selections committee and StuCo?s course manager would work with the proposing student. The committee advocates ?working with teachers so their class is well structured and they have a legit plan,? said Sanyal.
StuCo classes in the past have incorporated knitting, figure skating, robot-building, board games, and kung fu. Terraccino says some of the more controversial offerings have been ?Beer Brewing and Appreciation? and ?How to Be a Player.?
For now, Terraccino hopes the new open elections will ?help broaden the support structure for the committee.? Anyone interested in StuCo is welcome to attend the elections, which will be held this coming Friday in Doherty 1112 at 5 pm.