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Student body officers attend 'Conference of Conferences'

Nov. 20, 1997

Student body officers attend 'Conference of Conferences'

Emily Wininger

Reporter for The Baylor Lariat

Baylor Student Body officers took the opportunity to discuss university issues with other student leaders from around the nation at 'The Conference of Conferences,' Nov. 13-16 at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Officers attending the conference were president Gannon Sims, a Conroe junior; external vice president Paige Manely, a Baytown junior; and internal vice president Mark Freeman, a Sherman junior.

The conference featured three general sessions including higher education legislative issues, diversity in the curriculum and student alcohol issues. A variety of workshops were also presented such as campus safety, affirmative action, campus recycling, student fees and how to run an effective student government.

According to Sims, the 'buzz word' for the conference was diversity.

'We spent a lot of time discussing what diversity means,' he said. 'We defined diversity to be differences in all areas of university life and not just racial issues.'

For all three, the conference was an eye-opening experience to the differences between state universities and private universities.

'The conference was interesting. I felt like a student at a state university for a few days,' Sims said.

'I found what I've always found: how fortunate we are to be at Baylor,' Manley said. 'I know that we have a variety of issues at Baylor, but compared to the issues that state schools and larger schools face, we don't have to deal with much.'

To Sims, discussing the issues was important and informative, but the 'difficulty is that we have to modify issues and solutions because we are a small private school.'

All Big 12 schools attended the national conference, Manley said.

'I learned that we have a very respected student body in the Big 12,' she said. 'I think that is because we have higher expectations for our students, and they are obviously living up to them.'

Sims hopes to implement some ideas from the confernce. 'One of the most interesting programs I heard about was the 'Speakers Board' at Oklahoma State University,' he said. 'It allows the OSU student government to apply a small fee on each hour that each student enrolls in. The money brings in important speakers from around the world. I think that is something that Baylor students and the community could definitely benefit from.'

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