Hiring by committee

In a departure from recent years, ASPSU President-elect Katie Markey and Vice President-elect Selina Poulsen have decided to hire their administration by committee.

In a departure from recent years, ASPSU President-elect Katie Markey and Vice President-elect Selina Poulsen have decided to hire their administration by committee.

According to Markey, hiring committees were formed for each position. Currently, a committee is working on hiring for the chief of staff position. Once an individual is chosen for the position, he or she will be on subsequent hiring committees to help fill the remaining positions.

Poulsen is chairing the hiring committees, though Markey makes the final decisions based on the input provided by the committees. After exploring different hiring options, Markey said they decided on hiring by committee since professional organizations and universities follow a similar process.

“I’m really relying on Selina and the hiring committee to use their expertise and their perspective to give me good feedback,” she said.

In the past, the president- and vice president-elect would hire the chief of staff, possibly with input from others close to student government, according to Markey. From there, the president, vice president and chief of staff would form the group responsible for filling the remaining cabinet positions.

Markey and Poulsen wanted to do the process differently this year in order to open ASPSU up to the whole campus, Markey said.

“Over the past few years, ASPSU has been—and this has been said by a lot of people—very much the same people,” she said.

According to Poulsen, she and Markey did not want the “process to take place behind closed doors where the [it] could not be fully explained.”

“Starting off our administration by asking for participation from a variety of communities on campus allows for a true representation of PSU and an objective opinion to be formed of each candidate,” she said.

Markey said that she and Poulsen go over the applications together, but Poulsen schedules the interviews. The various committees meet and use a rubric created by Markey to guide the interview process. After completing interviews, the committee chooses its top two or three candidates and passes the choices along to Markey, who makes the final decision.

The committee works to evaluate how well the candidates work in a team, as well as how the applicant performs in the interview.

ASPSU adviser Domanic Thomas sat on the hiring committee for the chief of staff position for the new administration.

 “[Markey and Poulsen] went out of their way to professionalize the process and I am very pleased,” he said.

In addition, candidates who apply and interview for a position receive valuable feedback on their interview, according to Thomas.

 “I consider a vital part of professional development [to be] to speak with students honestly about how they can prepare themselves better the next time around for these and professional positions,” he said.

The hiring committees were organized based on the position and availability of committee members, according to Markey.

“We wanted it to be a wide range that really covered PSU and not just student government,” she said.

The Women’s Resource Center, the Disability Resource Center, Campus Recreation, advising and Residence Life are all organizations on campus that have promised to send a member to sit on the committee, Markey said.

“We’re trying to make sure that the constituents and the people the position works with the most have a representative on the hiring committee,” she said.

Applications are still being accepted for the legislative affairs director, multicultural affairs director and the equal rights advocate until tomorrow, May 27, at 5 p.m. Poulsen said applications are available online and in the ASPSU office on the first floor of Smith Memorial Student Union. Applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé.

Markey said that they are still looking for people to sit on committees.

“You don’t need political science experience or student government experience. We just need students who care,” she said. “We’re excited to have diverse people involved.”