Bahls creates advisory council

President Steven Bahls, in partnership with SGA, is organizing this year’s President’s Advisory Council. The council will be composed of roughly 20 students, recommended by SGA and chosen by Bahls, who represent all grades and offer a diverse perspective on topics such as residential life, academics and availability of classes.
“So I established a Student Advisory Council to the president six years ago when it was apparent to me that I needed a better sense of the pulse of the student body,” said Bahls. “I found at times students will say things to the president that they won’t say to the faculty or the other administrators about what is happening at Augustana.”
While the process of choosing council members is still developing, Bahls has set an agenda for the topics that will be covered in this year’s council meetings.
“The council is an advisory council, so we ask the students to think larger than their own individual issues so if they want to have more parking on campus, for example, we try not to dwell on things like that,” said Bahls. “We try to dwell on larger issues, quality of the education, quality of the student services.”
In addition to focusing on issues related to course availability, the council will also offer input on the school’s relationship with the Lutheran Church and other issues on campus.
SGA President Richie Benson has been accepting applications for the council as well as orchestrating SGA’s involvement with the issues and student body.
Benson said the council will give students a chance to interact with Bahls and offer ideas for the college.
“In my four years there has always been a change every year, and I really think it’s awesome how much our administrators value student input,” said Benson. “It’s hard being the president of a college and getting to know every student, but he does a great job with office hours and just being on campus.”
Students interested in speaking with Bahls or proposing ideas for discussion within the council can either send in ideas to the Bahls, visit him during office hours or reach out to Benson.
Bahls and Benson hope the council will hold its first meeting before the end of the year, and have another in February with a third meeting in the spring. The four-hour meetings will be held at Bahl’s house and consist of a discussion where Bahls will pose questions to the council alongside faculty or administrators who can offer expertise.