Utah students to visit TCU, begin leadership exchange

Student Government Association will host the president and vice president of the University of Utah’s student government this week to discuss a collaboration of ideas between universities in the Mountain West Conference. SGA President Jace Thompson, SGA Vice President Thomas Pressly and Dean of Campus Life Suzy Adams traveled to Utah during fall break to meet with the Associated Students of the University of Utah and prepare them for a trip to TCU.

ASUU President Spencer Pearson said during the visit the groups discussed “collaborating a little more as student government leaders and discussing the conference as a whole.”

Thompson said the trip was to begin a “leadership exchange” between the two schools and for the students to become more familiar with Utah.

The idea for a leadership exchange was initially proposed in spring 2006, but it was early summer when meetings were held with sports leaders and administrators to discuss hosting Utah for next year, Thompson said.

“TCU had an administrative connection with the University of Utah, so the school was a good fit,” Thompson said. “Our goal is to have a Mountain West Conference convention where delegates from each university will come and hopefully resolutions for the future will be made.”

Pressly said the ASUU president and vice president will be visiting Wednesday and Thursday for the football game against their school.

“This is the opportunity to bring leaders to TCU,” Pressly said. “It’s also an opportunity for TCU to be a leader within the conference.”

Thompson said the ideas discussed at the Utah conference this week will include activities funding allocation and what is and isn’t effective within SGA.

Pearson said he is excited for the visit because the University of Utah has never had this kind of exchange within the conference. He said he hopes to understand the school better, share ideas and get the TCU experience.

“We want to start to build more community between schools,” Pearson said.

Thompson said he hopes having these guests on campus will teach student leaders how to entertain a smaller group before committing to a larger group in future conferences.

“Before we host and start something big, it would be wise to entertain with a smaller group so we’re not making the same mistakes,” Thompson said.

Thompson also said this is not something he wants only for SGA. He said he looks forward to other leaders around campus getting involved.

“This is designed to include more than just SGA,” Thompson said. “We hope to be integrated into the conference in more than just an athletic way.”

Thompson and Pearson both said they are in the early stages of planning and hope to have more details after this week’s visit.