Fashion School aims to improve through new council


J.R Cambell, director of the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, speaks with his newly appointed student advisory board on Oct. 18 Photo by Jacob Byk

Alicia Crabtree

The new Fashion School Director’s Advisory Council met for the first time Thursday to discuss its goals to improve the Fashion School.

Studying abroad, for example, may soon be a requirement for all fashion students, thanks to the new council.

J.R. Campbell, director of the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, said the council was formed when he and the Executive Advisory Board chair for the Fashion School were looking to better support the school’s mission.

“This is a new select group of Fashion School students that will be actively involved in managing and progressing initiatives to expand the mission of the school,” Campbell said. “Each of the student members of the DSAC will meet with me on a regular basis to discuss and act on visioning projects that have been identified by the Fashion School’s Executive Advisory Board, director and FDM faculty.”

Campbell said the idea is to pair each member of the council with a member from the Executive Advisory Board. He or she will serve as a “task force committee chair,” addressing four main themes for the school’s progress.

“The DSAC student members will work as ‘project managers’ directly with the board members, a faculty member and any other advisory board participants on the committees,” Campbell said.

“I am not treating this group as any kind of official council of representatives for students from the Fashion School,” Campbell said. “This is an opportunity for a small group of students to share their perspectives and contribute to some of the larger goals of the school, while networking and making contact with a number of our industry partners.”

Aside from the possible mandatory study-abroad program, other topics addressed included preparing students for the workplace, giving students an edge when looking for a job and bettering the profile and recognition of the Fashion School, which is ranked as one of the top three fashion schools in North America.

Karolina Kucerova, sophomore fashion merchandising student and member of the council, decided to apply for the council to help improve the Fashion School.

“The council will contribute a student perspective on various topics that J.R. Campbell and the Fashion School have been working on,” Kucerova said. “There is a board of various people from around the country working in the fashion industry, but due to busy schedules, the student council was formed to meet more frequently and to make progress on these various topics.”

Kucerova said each DSAC members’ first matter of business is focusing their topic.

“There are five members, so we will work together on each other’s topics to help progress more quickly,” Kucerova said. “This council is not a hierarchy but rather a partnership with the other students and board members in different cities.”

Morgan Burns, junior fashion design student and fellow council member, said it was interesting to directly influence the improvement of the Fashion School.

“The council aims to bridge a gap between the students and faculty members in the Fashion School,” Burns said. “Director Campbell has a clear vision of the advancement of the Fashion School to become a leading force in the industry. We share many of the same visions for the school, which was why I found it necessary to apply. I could not pass up the opportunity to have my voice be heard on a platform that truly matters.”

Contact Alicia Crabtree at [email protected].