The current student senate turns the table over to next year’s group of excited individuals this summer. A committee chose seven students out of 17 applicants to assume the roles of next year’s student senate.
The committee, who met on May 18th, interviewed and selected the new members who best met the criteria for the positions they applied for. The committee included students, current senate members, a library administrator, and the dean of student life, who is a non-voting member.
The new senate has big plans for the college. Geomarc Panelo, the new vice president of clubs and organizations, hopes that students become more involved with school activities and take advantage of the opportunities the school offers them.
This includes applying for scholarships, an attitude that current ASB President Khurshida Begum would appreciate. Begum was proud of helping the senate have a stronger presence on campus.
“We do exist,” said Begum about the senate. Begum liked being a helpful resource for students and she wanted to have students realize that they have a voice in what goes on at the school. She strove to be a voice for students who could trust her to see that their needs were met.
Dave Rowland, the newly appointed senator of public relations, hopes to excel at voicing the concerns of the students and make a positive difference in the life of students by enhancing the student experience, he said.
According to Linh Huynh, the current senator for public relations, some advice she gives to Rowland or other member of the new senate is to “Know your limits. Many things sound intriguing and fun, but you can’t stress yourself out. It’s ok to say no,” said Huynh. Begum also said that education should be a senate member’s first priority.
Kayla Perez, next year’s senator for administrative affairs, wants to make the school more environmentally sustainable, she said. She also believes that students should be more involved with the state legislative process because it affects us all, according to Perez.
Perez is also looking forward to getting to know her fellow senators and representing the students’ interest. Current senators reflected on past experiences during their time in the student senate and all agree that it was a worthwhile journey.
Huynh was particularly proud of the newly implemented event on campus she started, “Be Cool, Don’t Drive to School,” where she encouraged students to look for alternative routes to school. According to Huynh, this project engages students to be a part of the solution to an overcrowded parking situation.
Begum is proud of her involvement with bringing awareness about human trafficking in the United States through an event on campus she helped organize, “Modern Day Slavery,” this past March. Begum was excited that the turnout was big and that the word spread. This was her most memorable moment as ASB president, she said.
Current Senator of Legislative affairs Matthew Shrader is most proud of his work representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer identified people and giving them a voice in the student senate.
This was important to Shrader because he wanted LGBTQ identifiers to have a say in school affairs. Shrader served on the senate the previous year as senator for administrative affairs.
He is especially proud of organizing a petition last year that the entire student senate signed, expressing their disagreement that homosexual men cannot donate blood. For Shrader this was a matter that meant a great deal to him and he was honored that he had the entire senate’s support.
Shrader’s advice for future student senate members is to “Remember all the students, all the time,” he said. He also urges the new senate to remember that they may not be able to accomplish everything they set out to do, but with what they can – strive to build a better campus community.
The goal of past and present members of the student senate is to get students more involved with what happens on campus and in the community. Begum wants students to know they have a voice in budget cuts and other issues, but they often don’t think their opinion counts, said Begum. The new senate hopes to make all student voices feel heard according to Rowland.