USG initiates Freshman Leadership Program

Angelica Nahalka, Senior Staff Reporter

Undergraduate Student Government is launching a program to get freshmen involved as leaders within USG and on campus. The Freshman Leadership Program will provide students with the opportunity to learn how USG functions, along with opportunities to become involved in other student organizations. 

The FLP was established this year after students approved a major constitutional change affecting the makeup of USG. Using the new system, students vote for senators through their individual schools at the end of the school year, which means freshmen are unable to serve on Senate. 

Executive Vice President Trey Holmes said the program allows freshmen to still serve a part in USG decisions. 

“We wanted to have an option for freshmen because they can no longer sit on Senate,” Holmes said.

Holmes said freshmen will get hands-on experience working with USG through the FLP.

“[Participants will] be able to sit on the separate committees, such as academic affairs and student life, to be able to help the senators who are writing legislation talk to administrators, talk to students and help get legislation passed through the Senate,” Holmes said. 

Part of the program aims to cultivate effective future USG members. Through the FLP, freshmen will be encouraged to come to Senate meetings to learn how legislation is passed or how one speaks at Senate meetings. Holmes said future candidates will be ready to tackle issues in USG after their participation in the FLP. 

“If [FLP participants] want to run for Senate as sophomores, they can already have an understanding of what goes on and how they can participate,” Holmes said.

Holmes said that though freshmen will not be required to attend Senate meetings, USG members will still communicate with the students in the program.

“We’ll have separate meetings outside of Senate with these freshmen,” Holmes said.

The FLP also aims at broadening freshman involvement on campus by giving them the tools to become involved elsewhere. Freshmen will not only be immersed in the workings of USG but in a web of campus-wide leadership networks, such as Community Action Council of Tulane University Students and Tulane University Campus Programming.

Holmes said he hopes the FLP will help freshmen assimilate onto Tulane’s campus. 

“It’s not only getting them involved in USG and at the Senate meetings,” Holmes said. “It’s also about getting them involved on campus and encouraging them to step up and be leaders, find leadership opportunities and find their place at the school as a leader.”

USG selected the freshmen involved in the program through applications, which were submitted in early September.