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Selecting Bonner Congress Reps

Page history last edited by marisa.frey@gmail.com 11 years, 4 months ago

Selecting Bonner Congress Representatives is an essential step to making sure your program has strong representation at national meetings. This helps you to represent your program to the network, learn about the practices of other programs, and gain essential networking connections with other Bonners. These are a few steps that the foundation would suggest are essential to having the most successful congress selection process.


Education on the role of a Bonner Congress Representative:

  • Asking past congress representatives to share their experiences at an all Bonner meeting
  • Posting a brief description of the congress representative role written by a past rep on the Wiki
  • Referring students in your program to the Bonner Network Wiki’s Student Handbook Live to learn more about what congress meetings entail
  • Talk about the role of a congress representative at freshman orientation
  • Get information from other programs about what their congress reps have done


Application/ Goals Outline:

  • Requiring students to turn in a basic application explaining why they wish to be a congress representative
  • Asking applicants to write an essay
  • Having students draft their ideas on how they would plan to share what the learn at congress with the program upon their return
  • Asking students to share a list of goals they would have as a congress representative with the rest of your program


Student Voice:

  • Having the students in your program nominate peers that they think would make good congress reps
  • Asking students to vote on their representatives
  • Involving some students in your program in the application review process


Administrator Involvement:

  • Giving the administrators the final veto power in who will go to congress meetings
  • Coaching students from the start of their time as Bonners to understand the importance of Bonner Congress as well as the selection process.



While not every step is ideal for every program, it may be useful to look at a suggested selection model. Below is an example of a selection process broken down step-by-step that could be used within your program.



1. Inviting past Bonner Congress Representatives to educate students in your program can be extremely valuable to the selection process. It helps students considering the position to understand all that it entails, and reminds students that they, if elected, they will now represent your campus program to the national Bonner network. It also allows past reps to instill a sense of importance about the role of being a Bonner Congress Representative.

-This can be done by having the past congress rep share in person at your Bonner Program meetings.

-If you are concerned about past reps graduating before they step down from the role, having them write a brief statement about the role to be read the following year in their absence may be helpful.

2. Allowing students to then nominate their peers allows them to have a say in who will represent their program at the congress meetings. This allows students to feel that they are represented in these important national gatherings, even though not all of them will attend.


3. Requiring students to submit an essay including a list of goals or projects for their time as a congress representative gives them a standard for follow-through on their commitment to represent Bonner, the foundation, and your program. This also presents students with an opportunity to share what ideas they have for utilizing their congress experience to take on a leadership role within the network.


4. Having nominees share with the other students in their program why they    wish to become the new Bonner Congress Representative gives students in the program a sense of how important the role is. It also gives those students not applying for the role the opportunity to have some say in who represents your program.

-This can be done by having each nominee give a short statement about what they hope to do as a congress rep at an all Bonner meeting

-This can also be done by having students write their goals as a congress rep and reading or sharing these anonymously with the rest of your Bonner program at a meeting or through email


5. Asking all students to vote on their representatives is the epitome of student voice in the congress selection process. It asks each student in your program to step up and have a say in how your program is represented at congress. This step, un conjunction with the others, helps emphasize the importance of the national Bonner meetings.


6. Giving the final veto power to the campus administrators helps that make sure that, while student voice is the primary deciding factor for the appointment of congress reps, campus administrators have the opportunity to remove someone from the position based on disciplinary history or other serious factor.


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