The Joint Committee of Faculty and Students is taking more measures to promote its annual scholarship, which last year had a small applicant pool of mostly Student Association members.
Of last year’s seven $1,000 scholarship recipients, five were students involved in the organization. SA-appointed students, along with professors, serve on the committee to select the scholarship recipients. Between 10 and 15 people applied for the award last year.
This year, the scholarship has received more funding from Student and Academic Support Services, bringing the total award money to $14,000, double the amount of last year’s fund. There will be four or five winners depending on the quality of the applications and winners could receive as much as $3,500.
The application has been available to students for several weeks and the deadline for submission is Feb. 28. Applicants are judged based on their leadership skills and contributions to student organizations and activities.
Senior Lee Roupas, student head of the JCFS, said the committee has been working hard all year to ensure the award is fair. He said the committee’s key initiatives have been to create more precise selection criteria, ensure a more diverse applicant pool and increase the award amount.
“We want to know who stands out in the crowd and who has the potential to also become a great leader. We want to make sure it’s done fairly,” Roupas said. “We also understand that leadership means a lot of things and that’s why we are trying to broaden the applicant pool.”
SA President Omar Woodard appointed Roupas, his opponent in last March’s elections, to head the JCFS this year with the intention of preventing last year’s “debacle.”
“I think that Lee Roupas is going to do the job and to make sure that what happened last year won’t happen again. It definitely won’t happen this year. I like forward to a diverse group of award recipients,” Woodard said.
The committee contacted presidents of student organizations to spread awareness to different groups. They have also printed an advertisement for the scholarship in The Hatchet.
“In the past it hasn’t been out there for enough groups. It’s probably been just for SA individuals who were definitely qualified but wasn’t diverse enough. This year we want to reach out to athletes, minority groups, political groups, etcetera,” Roupas said.
The JCFS has also instituted a more precise procedure for evaluating candidates this year. A subcommittee of three students and three faculty members will score applicants and then present the finalists to the whole committee.
Colleen Yout, a student involvement coordinator, has been working with the JCFS to make sure the award is better publicized and fairly awarded this year.
“There has been more input from various people about how to get it out there and there are more questions rising about how to do this better,” Yout said.
Roupas said the JCFS is confident that they have corrected last year’s shortcomings.
“We feel we’ve taken the necessary steps to ensure a better applicant and diverse pool,” Roupas said.
The scholarships will be awarded at the Excellence Awards ceremony April 14. Many awards will be distributed at the annual ceremony, including honors for student organizations, community service projects and performance groups.