Each week, students see several meetings and events that are put on by the many registered student organizations that make up the Bryant community. Yet what students may not see is what goes on behind the scenes to make it all possible.

I’m referring to the Ways and Means Commission, a group of over a dozen students, who come together each week to discuss and recommend funding levels for student organizations. Each year, Ways and Means receives nearly $500,000 in funds, and has the unique responsibility of debating how that funding should be allocated. The importance of this responsibility cannot be understated.

Together, the students of the Ways and Means Commission make so many things possible. From MSU’s trip to the Black Solidarity Conference, to CEO’s BUNEEC conference, to the Commuter Connection’s Taste of Rhode Island event, the students of Bryant get to see their fees to go work for the betterment of the Bryant community, but none of these events would be possible without the careful deliberation of the students on Ways and Means.

But it’s not all number crunching either. Members of Ways and Means have the opportunity to listen and debate with their peers, which allows students to grow in areas like public speaking.

So who can apply to be on Ways and Means? Any student! The unique part about Ways and Means is no prior experience is required. That means all students are welcome, even those who never considered student government before, who aren’t on the executive board of a club, or who may not even be an active member of a student organization at all. Anyone who wants to get more involved and wants to make a difference here at Bryant should apply!

Not to mention, students gain many marketable skills while on Ways and Means. Whether it be learning how to carefully debate important decisions, or exercise fiscal restraint, students leave the Commission with a better understanding of how to collaborate with other students, and how to responsibly manage budgets.

Applying for a spot on Ways and Means is simple. All students need to do is fill out a brief questionnaire, and appear before a group of their peers at the Student Presidents Advisory Council to make their case for why they should be on the Commission. There’s no need to campaign, or hassle others to vote, or even to create a detailed platform. Simply email me, Harrison Garrett (hgarrett@bryant.edu), I’d be happy to walk anyone through the process and answer any questions.

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