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Senate anticipates programs to increase recognition

September 19, 2014

Classes are now a few weeks in and for most people a routine is being set. With elections taking place on Sept. 15 and 16, the same can be said for Student Senate.

With the open seats being filled, the Senate will yet again be complete which means they can start working on some projects that were started last year.

“Last year the previous Senate did a lot of restructuring of the Student Senate itself, and the main goal of Student Senate this year is really to get that up and running and running smoothly and efficiently,” said Student Senate President Tony Sumnicht.

Having the open seats filled also means that the Senate can start working on projects that they want to complete as well as getting their name and message out to UWRF students. Current members of the Senate are working hard to put themselves, and the Senate as a whole, out in the open for students to hopefully recognize who they are. Sen. Sumnicht and Senate Vice President Shelby Hehr made speeches to the new freshmen on Academic Day during the Week of Welcome.

Despite the speech, most underclassmen do not know anything about what Student Senate does or who they are. When asked, most students said they do not know what Senate is or what they do on campus.

“I know absolutely nothing about Student Senate. Like, nothing at all,” said freshman Alex Shonkwiler. There are, however, upperclassmen that know exactly who Student Senate is and what they do.

“I would like to see Student Senate get more involved in showing themselves on campus, like campaigning more so people know they are about helping students find opportunities to volunteer and do things that will look good on their resume for grad school or work place or something like that,” saud junior Lauren Doyle. “Just help them find more avenues for students to do volunteer work and such.”

The problem the Senate faces is that even if some students know about Student Senate, a majority do not, which is why the Senate is focusing on getting their name out there through new programs they have set up.

Two of the programs that the Senate is putting on for students in Falcon Fridays and Senate Cinema.

As important as getting their name out there is, the Senate still needs to focus on the issues they have presented to them. The Senate has multiple things that they are going to start working on.

The Senate is going to be working with the River Falls City Council and the River Falls Town and Gown Association on the re-branding and re-marketing of the River Falls Share Ride and the River Falls taxi service. They are also working on creating a discount program that students can use around the city, and an off-campus housing platform that would show all of the listings around the city.

Along with those projects that are being developed, the Senate is also going to have to address one large issue that is going to be presented to them in the spring.

“One main discussion Student Senate is going to be having this year is the Falcon Center,” said Sen. Sumnicht. “In early spring semester the administration, chancellor is going to have to come to Student Senate and present the new fee that is going to be funding the Falcon Center and that’s something that needs to have Student Senate approval.”

If students have any issues or topics they want to discuss with the Senate they have a few different ways they can bring it up. Students can go to a Senate meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays; they can go to the Senate office in the Involvement Center; they can email one of the senators; or they can fill out a form on the Student Senate website.