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Senate works to finish goals

October 28, 2011

After the Student Senate elections in early October, seven new members have taken positions in the Senate. Ranging from First Year Representatives to Military Representatives, some of the senators have already put their ideas and plans in to motion while others have yet to set any goals for the year. Ben Blanchard, an eighth-year senior, said he’s already accomplished his main reason why he ran for Senate.

“In my first week I voted on a policy revision,” Blanchard said. “Now club sports and any dues-paying organizations will receive a budget starting next year.”

Blanchard said he voted on the revision and it passed three to two.

“I got the one thing I wanted to accomplish and I got it done fast,” said Blanchard. Blanchard is a triple-major in music, history and political science and is a Senator At-Large.

Along with new first-year representatives, Military Representatives, College Representatives and Senators At-Large, Carlan Strand is the new Vice President of Senate. Strand has one particular interest in mind for his term.

“The biggest thing right now is keeping student fees low,” said Strand. “Economic times are tough and it’s not just me that’s working to keep these fees.”

Second-time undergrad, Mike Walgrave, is sitting on the Senate as a Military Representative. Walgrave said there isn’t a specific goal he has in mind but a couple of ideas that could help students looking for job experience.

“UW-River Falls is a really good school with a lot to offer, but we need to go more global,” Walgrave said. “I think River Falls needs an entrepreneurship program or systems to help students get experience and internships.”

Although Blanchard and Walgrave have some specific goals in mind for their term on the Senate, some of the younger members don’t have a much of a direction yet. First-year representative, Alycia Hall, said she thinks she would like to change the credit load for freshmen.

“There’s a cap on freshman so that they can only take 17 credits,” Hall said. “I know I could handle more right now.”

Hall said that in order to change this rule she would have to start by joining a committee that deals with that particular issue. After that she would have to talk with the committee director, but Hall wasn’t very sure what she would have to do next. Hall said she’s still learning how things work in the Senate.

“Being a first-year we just learn as the year goes on, we don’t know a whole lot right now,” said Hall.

Kayla Edstrom, also a first-year representative, said she didn’t do a whole lot of campaigning.

“I just spread the word in some of my classrooms and told some people in my dorm to vote for me,” Edstrom said.

Grady Nelson, also a first-year representative, said he did very little campaigning.

“I did a little door knocking but it was more of a grassroots kind of campaigning,” said Nelson.

Although it is only the third week that the Senate has been active, senior Nick Entringer said he hasn’t been happy with the history of Senate.

“From what I’ve dealt with them in the past, I don’t feel like they do much of anything,” said Entringer. “It seems like they are very disconnected to the student body, we don’t see what they do and we don’t see any outcome.”

Entringer explained what he would like to see from the Senate this year.

“I want them to tell us what they are doing, write press releases, put it on the school’s website homepage or write a blog,” said Entringer. “Overall, I would just like to know what they are doing to better this campus.”