About Student Congress
The mission of Student Congress is to serve as a mediator between the administration and the Student Body of Hope College. In doing so, Student Congress seeks to provide an open forum where students can voice their opinions and concerns in hopes of making a positive impact on campus life at the college. Student Congress also strives to provide leadership direction for the student body by planning and promoting events that benefit the college community at large. Through the work of its elected members, Student Congress attempts to serve as a model for other student-led organizations to follow.
Within that core mission, we have a structure that is intended to help us provide a voice for the Student Body at all levels of the college. Internally, direction comes from the Executive Board, which has our President, Vice President, and Comptroller (the financial officer of Congress). Surrounding the Executive Board is a Cabinet comprised of the six Class Representatives. The Cabinet runs Congress' various Task Forces that work to improve the life of the college. These Task Forces are comprised by the rest of Congress, which is made up of Representatives from each of the living facilities on campus.
Externally, Congress interacts with the faculty and administration in a number of ways that fit within the college's governing framework. At the top of Hope College is the Board of Trustees that has the final deciding power on campus. Student Congress has five members represent the student body at these meetings. Below the Board is President Knapp, who we work with individually. To advise the President are approximately 20 committees that filter into three categories: Academic Affairs, Campus Life, and Administrative Affairs. On each of these committees, at least one Congress member is there to represent the views of students. It is through these groups and meetings that Congress has the biggest impact and power.
This impact is no small task. The top positions on Congress are year-round commitments as the summer is needed to meet with the administration and get ready for the coming school year. Each Congress member sits through countless meetings and discusses campus happenings with peers every week. It is hard work and time consuming. But when Congress makes positive changes like increased parking capacity, a new DVD rental machine, or having the Holland Sentinel provide free papers, it all is worth it. After all, improving the life of Hope College is why we do it.