By Maheen Ahmed
The Cape Cod Community College’s (4Cs) Student Senate is coming back to life after the Spring semester of 2018 when its reputation was called into question due to the alleged disproportional use of club funds that the Senate had been in charge of mandating.
Arthur Esposito, who co-advises the student senate alongside David Biggs, explained in an interview, what the Senate’s upcoming plans are.
“The four months [of the Spring Semester] will be the rebuilding year,” said Esposito.
He compared the situation to a baseball team.
“When they’re terribly depleted, they gotta have a rebuilding season because they are not gonna win any games,” Esposito said. “They gotta figure out how to win games the following season.”
In the Fall semester of 2019, the plan will be to incorporate the ideas that will arise from current listening sessions, into a new Student Senate Constitution.
Listening sessions are a complete open discussion between the students on campus and the Senate. The next session will be held on March 8th, 2019, downstairs in the Wilkens Library Boardroom.
“What we are hoping to do with these listening sessions, is identifying what concerns that students may have about the Student Senate,” said Esposito.
The concerns will not be directly addressed during the listening sessions, but this will allow the students of the senate to be aware of what must be fixed for the upcoming fall semester.
There should be a total of 21 member’s a part of the student senate.
Currently, there are only 2 active members involved, President Loren Barry, and Vice President Brianna Shirley. The student trustee election happened on February 21st, 2019, bringing the member count to three with new trustee Emma Perry.
According to Esposito student trustee is not only a part of the student senate, “they also sit on the board of Governors of the College.”
He explained, “They are the college’s representative for the Massachusetts Department of Education Committee.”
When questioned on the topic of how the senate allocates club budgets, Esposito had this to say:
“There was a budget and finance committee that is part of the Student Senate.”
This committee read and evaluated each club and organization’s individual budget proposal and gave their input to the coordinator of clubs and organization, David Biggs, who then would make sure that the proposals met set requirements, either giving it the okay or declining said proposal.
Now the plan club budget will be allocations will be changed to prevent any possible misuse of the budget.
The idea is for the student senate to be advisors for clubs when clubs are sending out their proposals.
Esposito acknowledges that it is a “very valuable learning experience for the students” and does not want to take it away entirely, even though excluding the Student Senate altogether would be the easier option.
Esposito also believes that learning from advising others would benefit the students involved in the senate so that they receive an educational experience while the club funds will still remain well accounted for.
The current President of the Student Senate, Loren Barry, answered questions on behalf of the Senate’s confidence in rebuilding and its plans for the future.
Barry is sure that, “with the number of students that have shown interest after the student senate elections this semester, I am sure we will have a full Senate for the fall semester of 2019.”
“We want to promote to students that the Student Senate is a wonderful way to be involved in the local community,” Barry said while confirming the main goal of the Senate. “As well as that, it does teach you skills that can be applied to the rest of your future.”
The Student Senate may stand on shaking ground right now, but it’s clear that they are on the path to stand tall in the upcoming semesters.