Since Tina Cooper is the only candidate for Student Fee Committee chair this year, the Vanguard is not making an official endorsement for the position.
Cooper served as a SFC member two years ago, but as an appointed member rather than an elected one, making this year the first time she is running for an SFC position.
Cooper, a returning college student and mother of four, brings a professional background in finance and a take-charge attitude that should serve her well in the chair position.
Based on her experience, she also has some interesting idea about how to improve the SFC orientation process for student groups.
She correctly identified a lack of communication between student groups and the committee as the most serious affliction the SFC has faced over the past several years. Cooper demonstrated an eagerness to improve accessibility to the committee for student groups and attack any lingering problem areas.
Cooper has outlined a customer service oriented approach to SFC dealings with student groups. She wants SFC liaisons to be more professional. Cooper also wants the SFC to work more closely with the student groups they represent.
This year’s SFC is but one of many to be tainted by petty bickering, and Cooper’s lack of allegiances to factions within student government is refreshing. She has also shown that she is unafraid to be blunt in addressing problem areas.
That said, she showed a concerning lack of understanding of the problems that have embroiled the SFC this year. She also seemed unfamiliar with SFC guidelines, something she would be expected to advise other SFC members on as chair next year.
While it is difficult to gauge if a SFC chaired by Cooper will be dramatically improved from the current committee, her frustration with past committee processes and her passion for reform bode well for her chances.