There have been significant changes made to the structure of the senior class programming committee. While senior events were previously planned and put on by what was known as Z-Core, the responsibilities now fall on the elected senior class representative, Kate Bredenberg.
In the past, Z-Core members were hired on during the spring of their junior year, and worked through the fall of their senior year to coordinate a variety of events. The group typically consisted of around five members working alongside the senior class representative.
Matthew Baker, the program coordinator for the center of student involvement at Gonzaga, was a key part of the decision to test out a new system of leadership for the current semester.
“We made the observation that there were two roles that were performing very similar tasks,” he said. “That hired Z-Core role and the elected senior representative role were both charged with the tasks of communicating with seniors about events that were happening, putting on events for the senior class and with collaborating with other university departments.”
When the time came in January to hire a new set of Z-Core members, it was decided that rather than continuing on with the previous format, the senior class representative would instead take on the responsibilities once handled by Z-Core.
“We thought, let’s try to reimagine this and see what really makes sense. Let’s press pause on operating Z-Core as it always has been and try this new model and see how that runs.” Baker said. “Part of the thought was that if we have one group that’s really in charge of it we will have more clarity and be able to support that one group really well, which is being a better steward of the senior class funds that exist. We thought let’s put the budget in one really effective place so the senior class can have a really good experience,” he said.
With no one currently operating Z-Core committee, the planning of many major senior class events has fallen on Bredenberg.
“One of the things they said was they were taking the semester off to rethink Z-Core. That’s what originally happened and then I think they realized there was a lot of overlap, and they decided that just having one person do it might be more efficient. Because its true, the senior representative which is what I am, I am not Z-Core, puts on three events a semester for seniors, so it’s basically the same thing,” she said.
The change has required Bredenberg to take on a much more rigorous work load. Previously, each Z-Core member was a liaison for around two offices on campus, and now Bredenberg manages all of them, in addition to having fully responsibility over event planning.
Despite all of this, Bredenberg continues to thrive in her role.
“Kate’s done a really phenomenal job and is really a phenomenal leader,” said Baker.
He also emphasized the fact that the office of student involvement is willing to provide Bredenberg and any future senior class representatives with the support they need to succeed in their roles.
A previous Z-Core member was even re-hired at the request of Bredenberg, to help more evenly distribute some of the workload she faces.
“We want to be thoughtful to all of the pieces that are existing. The financial responsibility, the care of the senior class, the care of the senior rep, so she’s not just feeling the burden of handling it all on her own,” he said.
It is not yet clear if Z-Core will be reinstated in the future, as the center for student involvement is still in the brainstorming stages of how to best and most efficiently continue on with the program.