Meet the Senate on Friday
November 14, 2013
Student Senate has long been regarded as a mysterious body, but its senators are hoping to change that perception at Friday’s Meet the Senate event which will be held in conjunction with the Phillip Phillips concert.
Dominic Riel, the chair of Shared Governance within Senate, has been organizing the event since the beginning of the semester along with the Student Affairs and Academic Services Director Hannah Klingfus, but the decision to hold Meet the Senate on the same day as the Phillip Phillips concert is a fairly recent one.
“We had looked at many dates and times to hold the Meet the Senate event and this was really the week we wanted to have it, but we knew that we could not compete with the concert,” Riel said. “So instead, we extended a hand to the Office of Student Life to help promote both events. We hope by doing this, we will see an even greater turnout at both events.”
Past Meet the Senate events have resulted in low turnouts, further extending the idea that Senate is unreachable by the student body. Riel said that he hopes this semester’s event will prove Senate is not as unreachable as students may think.
“We hope that students will actually get to see who represents them on our campus and how similar we are to every other student,” Riel said. “Sometimes we hear that some students believe we are some secret group and all we do is talk about campus policy, operations and budgets, but we are highly involved in academics, organizations, events, the community and much more.”
Senior student Amanda Buchanan said that she has never heard of the Meet the Senate events, let alone attended any of them.
“I feel like there is a lack of information,” Buchanan said. “I only get emails about the elections, but I don’t get any information about the candidates.”
Riel said that he and the rest of the Senate are excited to see how the event turns out because this semester’s Meet the Senate will be different than past events. Riel, Klingfus and their respective committees planned the event to be more of a social event for students and senators.
“We really wanted to make this event less formal and to draw senators into their casual and social personalities,” Riel said. “We hope that students will actually get to see who represents them on our campus and how similar we are to every other student.”
The projected attendance was around 40 to 50 people three weeks ago. Since then, Senate has posted many different types of publicity around campus, including posters, a Facebook event and an OrgSync event. Riel said they are now projecting attendance to be closer to 100 to 120 because of their work advertising the event.
Meet the Senate will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m., on Friday, Nov. 15, in the Ann Lydecker Living and Learning Center. Senate will provide free food and beverages, and a drawing will be held for prizes.
Students who attend Meet the Senate will receive VIP passes to the Phillip Phillips concert, meaning they will be able to enter Knowles Center at 7 p.m. General admission for the concert will be at 7:30 p.m.
Senate will also provide a shuttle from Prucha Hall to the Ann Lydecker Living and Learning Center from 4:30 to 6 p.m., and then the shuttle will takes students from the Ann Lydecker Living and Learning Center to Knowles Center from 6:30 to 7 p.m. for the Phillip Phillips concert. For additional information, visit Student Senate’s page on OrgSync.