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Club Spotlight: Honors Scholar Council – The Vector: NJIT's Student Newspaper

(Logo from Honors Scholar Council)
The Albert Dorman Honors College is comprised of over 700 students spanning all the disciplines that NJIT has to offer. The Honors Scholar Council works with the Honors College team to build connections among students, adapt the honors curriculum, and promote a friendly and educational community. 
President Sriramya Ganisetti, a second-year electrical and computer engineering technology major, works with the Honors College administration as a bridge between advisors and students. She aims to modify the honors course requirements to ensure that students find them engaging and challenging, as well as promote community service and leadership. The Honors Scholar Council also plans events to keep students engaged and decompress from academic stress.  
“Students should join this organization to lead their peers in addressing and solving any issues they find with the honors community and curriculum,” said Ganisetti. “This council provides them the opportunity to voice and act on any concerns to better students’ social and academic lives.” 
The council consists of three tiers; the first is the executive board, made up of the president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and public relations manager. One tier below are class representatives, who provide input on the specific needs of the students in their year. Lastly, students who are interested are welcome to join as general body members, and elections for the positions above are held annually.  
“For this year, my goal is to increase visibility of the Honors Scholars Council,” commented Ganisetti. During the pandemic, the activity of several organizations, including the council, took a nosedive. Therefore, the organization’s current aim is to introduce students to their representative body and become more active in student life.  
Another major plan is for the council to address honors course requirements and improve the overall curriculum in the long run. “Students should not feel overburdened,” Ganisetti stated. “These courses should be a comfortable exchange and an opportunity to learn.” 
While the council plans to host events frequently, it also hopes to become a constant resource for honors and Dean’s scholars with any concerns or questions. This will include connecting students with administrators if they are looking for internships, are having trouble in classes, or simply want to converse.  
The organization hosted a “Meet and Greet” session from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 30, during which students were invited to the lobby of Honors Hall to meet their representatives, enjoy free snacks, and provide feedback on the college’s activities.  
“The purpose of this event was to form a connection between the student body and the faculty,” commented council secretary Nishtha Dandriyal, second-year computer science major. Over 100 students attended, and over 80 filled out a form with suggestions about the curriculum, game room, and programming. “A wide variety of responses came in,” she continued, “and many students wanted to know more about colloquia and service hours.” 
Other potential events for the Spring 2023 semester include a bowling night, a volleyball competition at the court behind Honors Hall, and more feedback sessions for students. The organization also aims to partner with other organizations on campus such as Center for Counseling and Psychological Services and the Residence Hall Association in order to address stress and mental health for all students.  
Ganisetti mentioned that the council’s events are open to all students, regardless of if they are honors or Dean’s scholars or not. “We want to spread the honors education and be more inclusive of the general student body by promoting honors courses to all students,” she said. 
On Dec. 14, the Honors Scholar Council hosted a “Holiday Semi-Formal” in Ballroom B of the Campus Center. The event took place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with free food and festive decorations. “The dress code was semi-formal, and there was a photo booth; it was a lot of fun, so make sure to come out to future events!” added Dandriyal.  
The formal was the council’s last event for the Fall 2022 semester, but several occasions are in the works for Spring 2023. To receive updates about the council’s activities, join their Discord at https://discord.gg/jQjnMpuj.   
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