Student Senate has a lot of bright possibilities for its future, but in retrospect, seems to be on a pendulum, swinging from one type of problem to another. Student Senate had problems as long as I was there, and I will not soften the fact that I am leaving it with problems. Some are the same, some are different, and very few people want to admit any of it. In fact, many people do not want me to say this, especially not on the record, but I think it is time for this student government to make an effort for transparency.
Last year at this time, the Student Senate account was in the red by about four hundred dollars. That year had started with a positive balance and lost more than they could hope to get back in a failed fundraiser. The Student Senate was lucky if it had eleven people attending the general assembly, and as a Senator, I never felt we had much to do. These problems were simple to understand and caused a serious problem of functionality, but reduced rivalry.
That fundraiser itself is easy to understand, there was an option to make an investment, but the investment never went anywhere. From my perspective, the bigger problem was that they did it without procuring a vote from the whole Student Senate and ended up putting themselves in the negative. Or, more accurately, they put the next Student Senate as a whole in the negative. This raises plenty of questions that we can speculate on all by itself, but with the perspective from two years in Student Senate, it looks more like they had internal problems and forgot to keep track of the basic needs.
Over the last year, Student Senate’s balance has returned well into the black. Many thanks are due to the administration of Student Life for helping the Student Senate with fundraising, as well as individuals in the JCCC Foundation, and the Student Senate Service and Fundraising Committee. During this time, the executive board has been very hesitant to spend funds out of the Student Senate’s agency account. As a result, fewer ideas have come to fruition.
The Student Senate has a lot of bright possibilities for its future and now it has the resources, too. Does the new Executive Board have what it takes to responsibly use those resources? It will take more than just knowhow and motivation. It will take the whole Student Senate with no more decisions behind closed doors. It will take transparency. Do they have that? Only time will tell.
Student Senate President