By Kylie Chesser
Behind the fun of Homecoming, the convenience of Pirate Bikes and theopportunity to address issues at Straight Talk, an student-run organization works hard every day to keep up strong connections between students, faculty and staff at Southwestern. Student Foundation doesn’t have a huge public presence, but instead works behind the scenes to get things done.
“As the Chair of Student Foundation, I recognize the background role that the group usually takes. We are the organization behind the student part of things,” Austin Painchaud said.
“This can kind of leave the organization lacking in public relations. I think the group definitely relishes the role of working behind the scenes, but the members are sometimes the only people who really know how hard it is to get in and how much the faculty and staff thinks of our work.”
Student Foundation acts as a voice tying together the Southwestern community, as illustrated by Straight Talk, an invite-only roundtable discussion with different SU faculty and staff members. Other, newer projects are in development as well for coming years.
“Next year, we are looking to continue the programming we always have, like Homecoming and Straight Talk, but also introduce some new projects that will benefit the student body and get our name out there,” Painchaud said.
The group is currently working with staff behind the “Be Southwestern!” campaign to start a student school spirit drive next semester.
“I think “school spirit” is a phrase usually associated with athletics, but it is really just pride in
this wonderful school we attend,” Painchaud said. “School spirit is all about letting the world know you attend Southwestern, whether you wear a school t-shirt, put a bumper sticker on your car, or recommend Southwestern to a high school student that you know.”
Campus life in many ways would not be the same without the organization’s hard work.
“Student Foundation at its heart is a group that works to bring students, faculty, staff and alumni together,” Painchaud said. “Whether it’s Homecoming, where you don’t really even have to try to get people excited, or Pirate Bike fundraising, where you may need to offer an incentive or twist a few arms to get students to participate, Student Foundation is in the background making sure that these interactions of the SU community continue into the future.”