Student Senate Procedures

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Letter to the Editor (to be published)Submitted by Thaddeus McClearySophomore International Business Major

The Student Senate began the year with new officers, enthusiastic about increasing campus involvement. It is strange, however, that the only changes that they have made may suppress our 80 campus organizations. You may have read about the changes in their appropriation policies for this year, but the attendants at the Registered Organizations Meeting were notified of the changes specifically. This year, a Senator must actively support requests by organizations that wish to receive funds from the Student Senate. This Senator must come with a representative of the organization to the Finance Committee meeting and then present information at the general Student Senate meeting. Only the supporting Senator can answer questions about the request, unless the Senate specifically calls on the organization representative for clarification. I can see that increased Senator participation could improve the Senate’s presence around campus. Students will be forced to get to know who represents them, which would improve the credibility of those in office. On the other hand, smaller organizations will find it very difficult to find a Senator to represent them as they have a smaller presence on campus. Because it is unlikely that they would have a Senator active in their organization, they will be disadvantaged when trying to push through requests for events that the Student Senate has pledged to support. Smaller organizations gasped as the Student Senate elections did not succeed in filling the 40 spots they allow. Fewer Senators means harder times for all organizations. In response to the continuation of Student Senate struggles, Student Senate President Eric Norris gave several varying responses from blaming gas prices to condemning the student body for their lack of involvement in articles in the September 9th issue of The Chart.

In his recent complaint about students complaining (ironic, isn’t it), Eric Norris revived the recreation center idea as a solution to the ‘involvement problem’ on campus. While this statement could be disputed at great lengths, I give only one response: while a recreation center may encourage students to stay longer on campus, what does the Student Senate plan to do to establish and maintain campus activities? So far this semester we have seen only the hardships of and from the Student Senate. Will things improve concerning campus involvement? I wouldn’t count on it as long as we have a Senate lead by one who thinks that their job is “more frustrating than fun.”