The Whitman Community Council Helps Voices Be Heard

This fall, Whitman Community Council was unveiled at Syracuse University, rebranding what was formerly known as the Whitman Student Government.

The council, which serves undergraduate students, is led by junior Jacob Urban, a finance and energy and its impacts dual major between the Marin J. Whitman School of Management and the College of Arts and Sciences. Urban feels his entrepreneurial background will help him to build this club and that the organization will help more voices be heard.

When freshmen come to meetings, for example, he wants them to be able to come up to him and say, “Here is what I like and what I don’t like about my experience.” Leaders of the club will continue to listen to students from across Whitman’s grounds to learn more about their needs and wants.

“It’s important for students to be able to have their voices heard within the larger Whitman community,” Urban said.

He is currently working alongside Whitman Program Coordinator Denise Lytle and Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs Lindsay Quilty. The rebranded club’s leadership also has a younger perspective with input from its two sophomore vice presidents — Jacey Adler and Eliza Linn.

Involved parties came together at the end of the last academic year to discuss the future of Whitman Student Government. In the meeting, they decided to rebrand, and Urban was subsequently elected as president. This year, there have been no less than 35 students at each of the club’s meetings. The club is still looking to grow, and Urban wants people with “big ideas” and the “willingness to execute.”

“We want people to say, ‘Hey that’s really cool, I want to be a part of that,’” said Urban.

The group also hopes to bring in notable alumni to host case study competitions.

“We wanted to enrich the ties within Whitman,” he said. “That includes ties among the community, alumni, students, faculty, staff and, of course, corporate partners.”

Whitman Student Government was well known for its two main events — Whitman Gives Back and Whitfest — which will both return under the new branding of Whitman Community Council. Whitman Gives Back is a day of service featuring volunteers from in and around the Whitman School. Last year, more than 155 students and faculty volunteered at local organizations including the Salvation Army and the Rescue Mission. Whitfest is a fun day of community bonding in the Whitman Flaum Grand Hall featuring food, prizes and a celebration of the past year’s accomplishments within the school.

Being in charge is nothing new for Urban, who has had many leadership experiences on campus as a member of SU Investment Club and as a solar energy researcher within the Reneé Crown University Honors Program. He is also a contributing writer for Seeking Alpha and

His past internships were at Macy’s and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. This upcoming summer, Urban will put his energy toward his oil trading internship at BP, a world-leading oil and gas company.

“I personally have been given a lot by the Whitman community,” he said, “and I want to give back.”

Kenneth Mintz
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