By: Madison Medeiros
“I wouldn’t say it’s hard at all,” said Senator Loren Barry.
“No, no, not at all,” Vice President Brianna Shirley and Trustee Benjamin Dube agreed.
The Student Senate has come to a united consensus that together they can overcome all obstacles, even without the leadership of a president and low membership.
The Senate has been working diligently to remain active and involved on campus. Prior to the start of the semester, the Board held a meeting addressing what each member wanted the Senate to represent.
“One of the things we laid out was: What we wanted Senate to be. Which was obviously to represent the student body, to help clubs, have events on campus, to make campus life and the campus community more active,” said Barry.
Barry expressed having hopes of more people running during the elections, but also for students to vote for those making the decisions on their behalves.
The Senate had planned to organize a special election to increase participation, but postponed after deciding to revise the constitution.
“I think the four of us right now are gearing up with the tasks of trying to get more student involvement, which is the biggest issue we’ve had throughout the previous years,” said Dube. “President Cox has instructed us, along with Dean McCarey and Student Life, to try and rewrite the constitution for the Student Senate. The four of us are up to the task.”
Dean McCarey, Advisor of Student Senate, has been working to revise the former constitution. The Senate expects the revised final copy to be completed by the end of October or early November.
The draft must undergo a long process of review and revision, requiring input from the college, approval from Deans and abiding by all given guidelines.
Important Items such as the number of seats on Senate, the eligibility of students who represent the Board and outdated standards are all factors that are under consideration for change.
“[Also] one of the main reasons we didn’t do the special election was the results of the past two, we haven’t really had that big of an interest in them,” said Dube.
Before talk of the special election or constitutional change, Senate was in the process of revising the online voting processes, adding additional voting days with more flexible times for students. Although this discussion has taken a backseat for the time being while dealing with the constitution revision.
“We’re pondering with the idea of having club elected officials,” Dube said. “That was a big problem we had last year, with the budget and stuff like that. Certain clubs felt they were not being fully represented so our way of doing that would be giving them a seat at the table.”
The Board has already extended invitations to club representatives and students on campus to join their 2 PM Monday meetings, located in the Library Board Room in the basement of the Wilkens Library.
“With our budget process last year, we kind of fell into an engagement problem. Out of all the clubs we have on campus, only three filled out budget request forms,” Dube said. “We have all this money, but no one asked for any it.”
The Senate said that at this time, they do not have any budget reports to publish.
“There are some things that’s out of our hands, but we do plan to make things public,” said Shirley regarding the club budgets. “We will try to make everything public to everyone who wants to know.”
Senate has been looking at other college websites throughout Massachusetts as a guideline for posting club budgets. They hope to have complete transparency throughout the future, where students can have access to financial information through the school website.
“We have come up with so many ideas,” said Shirley.
In addition to the major changes, Senate is also making attempts to work with different clubs and organizations. They plan on helping to raise the LGBTQ+ Club’s Pride flag in cooperation with Active Minds, sometime within the next week.
The Senate has also organized a Campus Community Clean up scheduled to take place on Friday, November 2. The members hope for full participation among the clubs and campus. Specific details about future events are to be announced.
“People are welcome in. We have plenty of seats,” Shirley joked, while pointing to empty seats. “That’s our biggest plan right now: just give people a voice.”