Senators seek to boost their campus profile

After failing to find enough candidates to hold a Student Senate election, Wednesday’s meeting focused on ways the senators could be more involved on campus.

The Senate starts every year with a picnic to welcome new senators and is normally a social event.

But this year, after Senate President John Carr introduced himself and his officers, the group immediately started working.

The senators showed up for food as always but this time they had packets of information and assigned tables awaiting them.

Valerie German, vice president, said these tables were set up not only to get the students to talk with people they may not already associate with. Each table had a piece of paper with questions for discussion on it.

So as the senators ate the food provided by Sodexho Campus Services, they discussed what they wanted to accomplish in the Senate this year.

After eating, the group discussed its ideas with the rest of the Senate, which resulted in about 45 minutes of brainstorming.

Many ideas were brought up during this time, not all of which will be possible throughout the year. But Carr said there were several good ideas brought up and that the Senate would try to accomplish as many of them as possible.

Some of the ideas included a formal dance, inviting students to a meeting to observe the Senate in action, placing a bulletin board in the Billingsly Student Center to inform students of what Senate has accomplished, and what could be done to the Lions’ Den to make better use of the space available.

These ideas will all be discussed later in committees, which meet before every meeting.

Carr and his fellow officers had actually already started the ball rolling on these committees, and even created a handout that explained what new committees had been created.

Two committees in particular will be focusing on events on campus. One is the campus and student services committee, which will focus on campus improvements like the benches the senate added to the Oval last year.

The other is the community service and involvement committee, which will focus on things the Senate can do to get Missouri Southern students more involved in what goes on in the Joplin area.

Other things the Senate discussed were how every sporting event should have a designated area for students, and how every senator should have an organization it keeps in touch with to help build a strong communication line.

There are currently seven empty seats in the Senate. These seats are available to interested students, who can pick up a form in the student services office. At the Senate’s second meeting, it will begin filling empty seats. The Senate’s first official meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Wed. Sept. 20 on the third floor of the BSC.