As Design For America has expanded over the past 5 years, national has had most of the responsibility of coordinating schools and creating connections between studios. Now, DFA is organizing its first ever Student Council in an effort to increase dialogue between studios and with national. On February 1st, student representatives from Northwestern, Rice, Barnard/Columbia, Vanderbilt, UIUC, Davis, and Virginia Tech called in on a Google Hangout to join the fellows in a discussion about the future of DFA.

The initial meeting was a discussion of what the role of council will be. The main goal of the Student Council is to create a stronger community between studios. Student Council is planning to have more regional and national studio meet-ups. Plans for a midwest meet-up are currently in the works. Beyond the exchange of ideas, student council hopes to serve as a foundation for national conversations about fundraising and community partnerships.

This new connection hopes to serve both as a benefit to the student council members as well as DFA national. Student representatives can give feedback on national initiatives as well as literature and publications.

While the DFA fellows set up the first Student Council meeting, this will be primarily a student run initiative. Representatives will meet monthly, with smaller task forces meeting in between to focus on the most pressing issues. We hope to see increased participation from other studios in our future meetings.