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Student Advisory Board

Posted by on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 in Newsletter Article.

Application Process

  • Complete the online application by Friday, October 27th
  • Submit your resume
  • A select number of students will be invited to interview the week of October 30th – November 3rd
  • Decisions will be released by November 10th

OACS Student Advisory Board Position Description

About the OACS Student Advisory Board

The OACS Student Advisory Board exists to ensure that programs and services offered by the office meet student needs and provide opportunities for student leadership development.  The Board is a platform from which students can apply their expertise and insure that the Director of OACS is student-centered while meeting the strategic goals and mission of the office. The Board is comprised of eight student leaders (two from each undergraduate class year) and two sub-committees – Active Citizenship and Service.

Selection Criteria

  • Passion for deepening and expanding active citizenship and service involvement
  • Willingness to serve as a Board member for one year
  • Motivated an enthusiastic about new service ideas and supporting clubs on campus
  • Dedication to meeting bi-monthly to comprehensively address problems on campus and solutions
  • Free for two meetings each month Wednesday 7pm

Application Process

  • Complete the online application by Friday, October 27th
  • Submit your resume
  • A select number of students will be invited to interview the week of October 30th – November 3rd
  • Decisions will be released by November 10th

General Responsibilities

Advising the Director of OACS

  • Be aware of the programs and opportunities offered through OACS
  • Identify innovative ways that OACS can better connect with, serve, and inform Vanderbilt students
  • Provide feedback about plans for upcoming events and after events have ended in a timely manner
  • Keep OACS informed of the most pressing interests and concerns of Vanderbilt students
  • Develop new programs for OACS to better assist students and improve service experience

OACS Advocate

  • Engaging the student population with OACS programming to increase awareness for service and active citizenship
  • Awareness of problems on campus and active participant in solutions
  • Engage student body in service learning opportunities
  • Attend and assist with at least two OACS events each semester (e.g., Fall Leaders Conference, Student Service Organization Fair, Weekend of Service, Constitution Day, Active Citizenship programming, tabling events)
  • Participate in voter registration efforts
  • Assist with program marketing (e.g., hanging posters, sharing social media posts, outreach)

Leadership Roles

Each board member will have the opportunity to utilize their specific skill sets and interests to support the mission and guiding principles of OACS by taking on one of the following leadership roles with either the Active Citizenship or the Service committee:

Active Citizenship Coordinator-

This committee leader takes on the task of providing opportunities for students to explore the ideas of apathy and advocacy. What do they mean and what do they look like as a college student? The person in this position will work closely with the monthly programs of the Active Citizenship Strategy by inviting other offices to host programs (under guidance from OACS), developing at least one program, providing support for annual speaker, etc.

Marketing Coordinator-

This committee leader will provide social media communication (including videos), providing data from assessment efforts to sharing the OACS story in engaging and student-oriented ways. This student should also provide social media and communications consulting services for service organization leaders. The person in this position will also be expected to communicate regularly with first-year students via social media, both to better understand their questions and ideas and to share helpful information with them.

Student Organization Coordinator-

This committee leader is charged with developing awareness activities that further strengthen the relationship between OACS and student service. They also strive to improve service organization visibility through online presence, organizing service events on campus and engaging with students throughout campus on the topic of service.

First Year Engagement Coordinator-

This committee leader will work closely with the First-Year Student Service Engagement liaison, the Voter Engagement liaison, the House Service Commissioners, and the Program Coordinator to increase voter registration and engagement among first-year students. This board member will also work with House Service Commissioners to provide information about how to find service opportunities as a student at Vanderbilt.

About the Office of Active Citizenship and Service

OACS Mission:

Embedded in the rich intellectual setting of Vanderbilt, OACS aims to support the university to achieve an undergraduate experience that exposes students to a wide variety of perspectives and experiences aimed at educating the whole person while cultivating lifelong learning. This is done by creating applied community service experiences that give every undergraduate an opportunity to engage, to question, and to create change locally and globally. OACS creates trans-institutional programming, including programs that embrace the centrality of public health, community development, and other thematic experiences central to the strategic mission of the university. OACS supports and advises students and student service groups in their activities and through leveraging and embedding the use of digital technology to foster interaction and learning between students and the communities in which they serve.

This is succinctly reflected in the OACS motto: Explore. Act. Reflect

Guiding Principles:

The following principles inform all work that OACS undertakes and focus both message and practice.

OACS expresses a commitment to the living-learning community through:

  • Humble service
  • Critical reflection
  • Action for global justice
  • Informed participation
  • Acknowledging personal privilege
  • Empathy & human dignity
  • Personal accountability

Primary Learning Outcomes:

Led by these core guiding principles, the office developed primary learning outcomes for 2014-15. The outcomes are in place to drive programs and initiatives, ensuring that proper assessment practices are developed and followed.

OACS Primary Learning Outcomes, 2017-2018

  1. Increase commitment to peace and social justice.
  2. Understand that reflection leads to greater learning and continual improvement.
  3. Critically examine one’s own values, beliefs, and personal ethics in an interconnected world.
  4. Deepen respect for human dignity and inspire action with empathy.
  5. Actively seek out knowledge to be an informed participant in society.
  6. Challenge assumptions of personal privilege.
  7. Respect diverse perspectives.
  8. Broaden the depth of active listening.
  9. Hold oneself accountable for actions and decisions.

Terms of Reference for the OACS Student Advisory Board


We, the OACS Student Advisory Board, being student leaders at Vanderbilt University, shall assist OACS in raising awareness and understanding of civic engagement and service related initiatives within the University community by: 1). Serving as a medium of communication between the Vanderbilt student body and OACS, 2). Promoting active citizenship, professional development, and a life-long commitment to service and action among members of the student body, and 3). Actively facilitating exploration, action, reflection, and collaboration in the greater Vanderbilt community’ efforts in service.

Article I-Name

This body shall be named the OACS’ Student Advisory Board of Vanderbilt University.

Article II- Purpose

The purpose of the Student Advisory board is to advise the Director of OACS on current and future work program.  To this end, the board shall…

  • advise the director on current and future work program
  • enable the director to ensure that initiatives are in touch with student interest
  • ensure that students have a voice in OACS
  • give the director a strategic student perspective on the priorities of the unit
  • develop and lead programming as agreed with the Director from time to time
  • serve as an ambassadorial body for service organizations affiliated with OACS and the student body more generally

Article III- Membership

Section 1: Residing Officer

The Director of OACS oversees the Student Advisory Board in all of its functions, and the power to amend, reconstitute, or dismantle this body rests solely with this individual.

Section 2: Appointments

The Director of OACS, in conjunction with the OACS staff, can appoint students to the Student Advisory Board.

Section 3: Ejections

With respect to unsatisfactory participation in the dealings of said board, the Director of OACS reserves the right to remove any student from the Student Advisory Board.

Section 4: Term Length

Positions with the Student Advisory Board shall be held for one consecutive year, after which students (should they be permitted by the OACS’ Director) may re-apply for an additional term of service.

Section 5: Admission of New Members

Clause 1: The advisory board will have one admission period, per academic year, that fall at the end of each academic semester. The exact dates are to be left to the discretion of the Director of OACS.
Clause 2:

The application process is as follows:

  1. Petitioning students must submit a completed application to the staff of OACS,
  2. Upon review, petitioning student will be formally invited to an interview where they will present their application to the co-chairs of the board
  3. Co-chairs will decide the final composition of the board

Clause 3: The board should maintain a membership of a minimum of two students per academic grade at all times.

Clause 4: There will be one Student Board Co-Chair and one Faculty Board C0-Chair to reside over and lead OACS Student Board.

  1. Student Co-Chair must be a rising sophomore or junior.
  2. Student Co-Chair will serve until graduation.
  3. Student Co-Chair is appointed by the previous Student and Faculty Co-Chairs. The student does not need to be a member of the OACS Student Board but must display comprehensive knowledge of board operations, passion for active citizenship and service, and desire to improve OACS as a whole.
  4. Student Co-Chair will serve as OACS student representative to all outside organizations and programs.
  5. Co-Chairs will be able to appoint committee members to coordinator positions at their discretion.

Section 6: Members at Large

The OACS Student Advisory Board and the OACS staff have license to invite members of the student body, faculty or staff to participate in subcommittee work if collaboration is necessary to meet intended goals. These members at large hold a position on the Student Advisory Board and would only attend subcommittee meetings.

Article IV- Meetings

Section 1:  Number of Meetings

In general, the board will convene twice a month, whereas sub-committees will be responsible for meeting on an interval basis to complete tasks, which shall be reported back at the bi-monthly meetings.

Section 2:  Attendance

Those members of the Student Advisory Board have more than two unexcused absences at scheduled meetings per semester must schedule meeting with Student Board Chair to explain circumstances.

All special meetings shall be called at the discretion of the Director of OACS.

Section 3: Meeting Procedures

Order of Business:

  • Roll Call
  • Presentation of minutes and action thereon
  • Reports by Subcommittees (if applicable)
  • Unfinished Business
  • New Business

Article V- Amendments

Alterations to this agreement shall require majority agreement of the board and must be approved and documented at the board meeting. Members of the board may vote for or against any proposed alteration to these terms of reference. Decisions by the Director of OACS are final and binding

Article VI- Ratification

These terms of reference shall become effective as part of a student’s agreement to serve on the board as outlined in these terms of reference. These terms of reference will serve as the guiding structure for the Student Advisory Board.