Article by Jo
As the summer holidays come to a bittersweet end, it’s time to talk about what’s next on the horizon for this academic year. In our vision, it will include a relationship between The Stork and the Student Government to inform you about what’s really going on at IE university.
Firstly, what is the Student Government? And who are we?
The student government is an organization that works with various bodies of the university to offer students a better academic, community and individual experience at IE. We’re a team made entirely of students, consisting of eight ‘officers’ from various stages in their academic journeys, who represent six different nationalities and can communicate in eight different languages fluently! We also work closely with our 23 committee members, who support us in our initiatives and are particularly helpful at hearing community-specific needs and communicating them to us.
Why did we run?
Personally, I was inspired by the previous Student Government president’s efforts, as I was a member of the Community Development committee last year, and because of my personal ‘philosophy’. My philosophy is that if I’ve committed to something that is enjoyable and that brings me value, but I have identified problems, instead of complaining about it, I will do something about it. It’s in my interest to take my available time and energy, and invest it into maximizing the impact that these university years can have on my life. These years are often called the ‘best of our lives,’ but I hope that’s not true. These are the years that set the foundation for the awesome things to come – whatever those might be to you! This is a time when you gain confidence…identify and act upon your curiosities with fewer factors to consider…toy around with what you are and what you may become, certainly, aren’t. Arguably most important: you can learn to make mistakes with poise and integrity, and how to embrace and move beyond these. And I’ve got to admit, I enjoy working on policy and speaking to people. It brings me joy for reasons I can’t describe, so might as well put these interests to use!
The biggest problem that I’d like to highlight as a starting point is one of relationships. There are three kinds of relationships that need to be strengthened at IE university on a wider scale:
- Students with students
- Students with the student government
- Students (including the SG) with the administration
Each of these have their strengths, but each of these has substantial weaknesses too. How can there be a sense of community when most people have no idea what our university has to offer? How can the student government best represent the student body when many, if not most, have no idea that it exists or what it does? And how can we improve the university’s offerings when there is a disconnect between what students seek and expect, and what the administration responds to?
The next logical step, having identified these pain points, is to address how we intend to solve these. There are three key themes that are intimately connected with both the problems and their potential solutions: engagement, awareness and communication. These three points represent a cultural change – one that will take longer than the couple of months that we have been the SG so far. Yet, we are confident that we can be the start of these changes, and create a foundation for the many SGs to come and the ever-evolving student body. We seek to reflect these themes in every action that we take. Through these, we can make sure to stay on task.
To come full circle, relationships are at the center of our focus. We must improve our communication as without good communication, relationships fail. Hence, we are creating an open flow of communication with students through various platforms for various purposes. From our own Instagram account @ieustudentgov to The Stork’s platform and even Campus Life, we hope to be able to inform students about what’s really happening behind the scenes, so that you know we are putting in the work for you.
Be sure to follow both the Student Government and The Stork on Instagram to keep up to date with the latest happenings. If you have any questions for us, or a specific complaint or query, feel free to email whichever officer is appropriate or check out our Link tree for more information. Check out this PDF to put some names to faces!