“Student Senate has been hard at work” seems to be a saying that you hear a lot.
The saying leaves many students wondering what we are exactly doing in our meetings up on the third floor of the University Center in the Willow River Room at 7 p.m. every Tuesday night while school is in session (a very shameless plug I’ll admit). After we sent you many emails regarding the referendum, Senate would like to take a break to tell you what we do.
The fi rst thing that surprises many students when we talk about Senate is what our responsibilities are. We act as your voice across the University, and there are times we pass resolutions that serve as the voice of the students saying that we disagree or agree with what is going on in our University.
We not only act as your voice to the University, but we also act as your voice within the entire UW System. Each time you elect your president or vice president you give them a vote at the UW Student Representatives where they make your voice heard as a collective body across the state.
Not only do we act as your voice we also get to control money that you pay into the school. According toWisconsin state law the students get to choose how to spend certain kinds of segregated fees.
We use those fees to help you out. Have you ever attended an event that a student organization put on? A lot of that money came from accounts under the control of Senate. Have you ever ate a meal in Riverside Commons, buy something in Freddy’s C-Store, relax by the fi reside lounge or enjoy a delicious sandwich from the Rapids? Student Senate is responsible for passing motions that allowed the UC to be built.
I hope you learned a bit about us, including what we do and who we are. We encourage you to stop by the Senate offi ce in the Involvement Center to talk to us and get to know us and tell us your concerns with the school. We hope to see you soon.
Nick Vanden Heuvel is a double major in political science and international studies who does school work by day and fights white collar crime by night.