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Student Senate fills vacant seats

October 5, 2006

As the semester rolls on, Student Senate is slowly but surely filling its positions left vacant after the Sept. 25 and 26 elections.

After the elections, two first-year positions and the College of Arts and Sciences spot were filled.

At the Oct. 3 meeting, two more senators filled the vacancies for the College of Business and Economics and an at-large seat.

Jenifer Biss, a first-year senator, said she ran for the position because it’s interesting to witness and be involved with a body that is responsible for creating policies that dictate how the campus is run.

“I like having the opportunity to evaluate the things going on around me, and if I find problems I have the opportunity to change them for the better,” she said.

A current position she holds to gain qualifications for her new role is being president of May Hall council, which has been her job for about two weeks, she said.

“In high school, I was involved in cross country, Nordic skiing, track and field, theater, German club and choir,” Biss said. “I like to think that, while these are not necessarily considered positions of leadership, I still gained recognition for my dedication to these activities.”

In high school, she said she learned accountability and time management, which she knows will carry over to Senate.

For now, Biss said she is very new to the association, and not many major issues have been brought to her attention requiring any change or to be addressed.

“The Senate as a body is already working toward positive change on campus,” she said.

Senate is sponsoring an energy conservation campaign again this semester for the residence halls, Biss said.

“I think this is a great way to increase awareness among students about a possible increase in tuition if energy costs are not lowered,” she said. “An even larger problem of the world is the amount of energy consumption and the United States’ issue of being a major contributor to that problem.”

Biss said she is majoring in pre-med with minors in chemistry and German.

While there is no direct correlation with her choice of academic study to being on Senate, she said it is preparing her for the future.

“Doctors tend to be thought of as leaders in a community, as they should be because the road to becoming a doctor is not an easy one,” Biss said. “I want to be involved in Student Senate because I want to learn to be a great leader, which I hope will someday translate into being a great doctor.”

She said another choice for joining Senate is to be a person of the people and work through issues the campus faces.

“It is not a secret that involvement in student government opens many doors to its members,” Biss said. “My intention is not only to use my involvement as a vessel on to other things, but more importantly, I plan to do the job well.”

Derek Brandt said he became motivated to be on Senate during his sophomore year when his RA was a member. He received the position of an at-large senator.

“It seemed like fun, and I am always trying to be politically active,” he said. “This seemed like moving one step forward politically.”

A similar experience Brandt said he has been involved in is Theta Chi fraternity.

Although there are many differences, the meeting procedure for each is a parliamentary structure, which is a great help for following Senate meetings, he said.

“I will be less nervous to speak on the floor,” Brandt said.

He said he is applying for the position of shared governance committee director.

“Hopefully I will be able to acquire this position to take a more active role in Senate,” Brandt said.

As an ex-smoker, he said he wants to protect the rights of smokers, along with the issue of the people’s right to their health.

“One issue that came up last year very frequently was the smoking laws on campus,” Brandt said.

As a double major in history and political science, he said he was influenced by his academics at UW-RF.

“I have always been interested in politics,” Brandt said. “I want a chance to serve the people.”

As for being on Senate, he said it is a very good position, where he can evaluate representation for the first time from the inside looking out instead of being on the outside looking in.

“I am glad to be able to represent the UW-RF student body,” Brandt said. “I will work hard this year to do what is right and to make this a great year on campus.”
Maggie Huppert won the position of CBE senator by showing interest to Vice President Bethany Barnett, who made a motion to fill the seat at the Oct. 3 meeting.

“I noticed there was an opening for the College of Business and Economics representative, so I thought I would run,” she said. “I wanted to get more involved on campus, and with my major I thought this was a perfect opportunity.”

She said her major is business administration, so she hopes to hear from students in CBE and help out in any way possible.

Huppert said her involvement on campus includes the Eco Club, Habitat and Campus Crusade, and her awareness of campus issues has been diversified through many organizations.

“I hope to participate in different types of events on campus,” she said. “I am a part of the Women’s Initiative Committee, and I hope to help out with other committees as well.”

For her role as a senator, Huppert said she wants students to let her know if there is anything she can do and what issues they are concerned about.

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