Even though the senator election is over, students still have the opportunity to become a member of the Student Senate.
Student Senate elections concluded on Thursday, Sept 5. There are a total of nine students who are now student senators, leaving 11 senator positions open. The door isn’t closed for students still wanting to be involved, though: mid-semester applications are now available.
The mid-semester application requires candidates to get student signatures endorsing their candidacy and fill out a packet of questions that vary slightly from the questions asked of students in the official election. Then, students must attend Student Senate general assembly meetings on Mondays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. At the second meeting potential candidates attend, they must give a speech in front of the Student Senate declaring why they want to become a senator. After a Q&A period, the Student Senate votes on a two-thirds majority.
Along with those requirements, students who are wanting to run must have at least a 2.0 GPA, be able to attend the General Assembly every Monday and be enrolled in at least one course on campus.
The responsibilities of the Student Senate include organizing events and allocating funds to various clubs and organizations. The senators, though, have a specific role which involves understanding the campus community and the needs of students.
“The whole point of having senators is to have them walk around and talk to the students to see what the issues are on campus,” Ankeet Prasai, student senate president, said. “We want as many voices informing the senators as possible so they can bring the issues to us and we can do something about them.”
The Student Senate has a budget of $38,000 which they can allocate to clubs and organizations. Anne Turney, manager of Student Life and Leadership Development, discussed other events hosted by the Student Senate.
“[They focus on] getting people involved, whatever that might look like for them,” Turney said. “There’s a service and fundraising committee, that does fundraising and a couple of annual events. They do Trick-or-Treat for Kids in the fall, [where] they get all the clubs together and do a little trick or treat for all of the kids of students, faculty and staff.”
By the end of the 18-19 school year, there were 17 senator seats filled; this year, there are only nine. This number will grow throughout the year as mid-semester applications continue to be turned in. According to Prasai, the Student Senate “doesn’t want to close the door for anyone who still wants to join.” Turney agrees, citing this as the reason mid-semester applications are not only offered, but encouraged.
“We say, ‘Okay, it says in the [Student Senate Consitution] that [elections] need to happen in this timeframe, but does that allow people enough time to really get established?” Turney said. “That’s why we have the mid-semester option.
The new student senators are Danielle Ingram, Arielle Von Der Heyde, Michael Stoneburger, Emma Wright, Giuliana Valiente Molas, Benedikt Gruber, Jennifer Clark, Aisha Mansoor and Aliza Bangash.
Story by Jake Ditto