The Network, the self-described “student organization for student organizations,” started its year this week with the goal of bringing groups together to work on philanthropic and social events, despite some still unfinalized details.
The Network got the ball rolling Tuesday at the Ohio Union with a few dozen of the organization’s representatives, who plan to work together to put on events while helping bring awareness to their own organizations.
The budget for the Network, however, which was funded by Student Life last year, has not yet been determined for this year.
The first meeting was a much more subdued affair than last year, when the newly formed organization filled the room with more than 100 student representatives, according to The Lantern archives.
Adam De Guire, a fifth-year in computer science, came to the meeting Tuesday representing the undergraduate student radio station Arouse, which streams online, and said he hoped the Network would help create connections for his station.
“We are a fairly new organization, so we don’t have a lot of ties to other groups on campus. We’re trying to get into this and branch out, and find ways that we can both get stuff from other organizations and give them whatever we can,” DeGuire said.
The Network President Amanda Siroskey, a fourth-year in communication, said there’s an added goal this year of addressing student issues at their monthly meetings.
“We want to talk about what issues student leaders see on campus as being prevalent and find solutions that we can bring to the university and say, ‘Here’s what these student leaders think about this problem,’” Siroskey said.
The Network learned from its inaugural year and is restructuring to streamline its efforts, Siroskey said.
Last year, the organization divided itself into three subgroups: philanthropy, diversity and awareness.
That structure became too fragmenting though, Siroskey said, so this year, event committees will likely work more on all three themes while planning the events to be held this year.
The three major events are scheduled to be No Place for Hate Week, a benefit concert called Rock the Cause and a human rights conference, Siroskey said.
All three are revamps of events from last year. Rock the Cause brought in rapper Khaled M. to raise money for UNICEF’s funds for Syrian refugees and Buckeye Clinic.
In April, No Place for Hate week is an attempt to engage students about issues of hate and discrimination in ways they might not otherwise see, Siroskey said. Last year, members of the Network promoted a social media movement to encourage discussion about diversity and held different events around campus.
Event committee chair Timothy Zhu, a second-year in economics, said the human rights conference last year relied mostly on speakers from within the university because of time constraints. This year, however, he plans on taking that event to new heights.
“This year, we’re going to start early. We’re going to start marketing now,” Zhu said. “Basically, we’ll draw a section of the student population that is interested in human rights and we’ll bring them to the Archie Griffin Ballroom. We’ll have keynotes. We’ll have break-out session. We’ll probably book other rooms in the Union and we’ll have an awesome conference.”