Student council thrives in College of Communications

January 15, 2015

On a blustery evening last fall, more than 400 students turned out to sign the College of Communications honor code during a special event in Carnegie Building. 


The event was planned and hosted by the College of Communications student council, which serves as an intermediary voice between administrators and students in the College of Communications. One of the aims of the student council is to be a uniting force for all communications students.


Hosting and planning the honor code signing event was one of many items on the to-do list for the group.


Council president Zach Slater, a senior majoring in broadcast journalism, and his team are hoping to organize several more events in the coming months, including a town-hall style meeting for students and college administrators, a lunch with faculty members and a day trip to Washington, D.C.


Along with hosting events to unite the student body, the student council conducts Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) fundraisers and student council members serve as tour guides around campus, at Innovation Park and at The Daily Collegian for prospective students.


In addition, council members created a peer mentors program designed to help first-year students adjust to life at Penn State.


Student council member Chrysten Colacicco, a junior majoring in public relations, coordinates the mentoring program. Colacicco revived the program with the help of academic adviser Stephanie Fuss and other council members.


“There was a program before but it wasn’t active. Stephanie came up with the idea to revive the program. I love the peer mentors program. In a huge school like this, the program breaks down size and distance and fosters connection among students,” said Colacicco.


Fuss, an adviser and recruiter in the College of Communications, enjoys working closely with the student council.


“I value my relationship with the students and I feel that whatever they’re doing now is going to give them the tools to be successful upon graduation,” said Fuss. “Plus, their work benefits so many students right now.”


During her weekly meetings with the council, Fuss helps build connections with faculty members and plan on-campus events. The council also helps Fuss with campus recruiting events. Fuss usually has a student council member sit in during meetings with prospective students to allow prospective students to hear first-hand experiences of current students.


“Steph is always cheering us on. She gives us opportunities to meet with faculty and she’s always there to listen and advise us,” said Slater.


Council member Ryan Belz, a junior majoring in broadcast journalism, represents the College of Communications in the University Park Undergraduate Association and serves as the student council’s liaison with that University-wide group.


“I don’t like voting without knowing what the general student body feels. The council serves as a voice for the students so in turn the council and I deliberate so I can look at every side of an argument before I vote in the UPUA,” said Belz.


As with the rest of the student council, Belz works for the betterment of student life at Penn State. “I enjoy being on the council beyond words because it allows me to advocate on behalf of my fellow students,” said Belz.


Slater, who will be entering his third semester as council president this spring, is proud to be part of student council. “It’s fun, it’s family, it’s this stress-free happy place I have,” said Slater. 

Last Updated January 15, 2015