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Student Senate modernizes website

November 14, 2014

UW-River Falls Student Senate members are working hard to reach out to students on campus by providing more services and new events, according to Senate President Anthony Sumnicht.

One of things Sumnicht is focused on is the creation of a new Senate website that informs students about the Senate members and the work they are doing.

Student Senate President Anthony Sumnicht proudly looking at the new Senate website that he created this summer.
Student Senate President Anthony Sumnicht proudly looking at the new Senate website that he created this summer. (Carmella Everhart/Student Voice)

The website contains information about the Allocable Fee Appropriation Board (AFAB), the agendas and minutes for the weekly Senate meetings, photos and information about members of Senate, and a schedule of events that are hosted by Senate, such as Senate Cinema. Sumnicht said the website is a huge step forward compared to the website that existed in the past.

“Our old website was basically just saying that Student Senate existed, and we really wanted to make it a place where students can actually find resources and things like that,” Sumnicht said.

Sumnicht created the entire website himself through OrgSync, a service that is used to manage student involvement at universities. He started working on it over the summer and continues to update it throughout the year.

“The main goal of the website is actually to make it sustainable for in the future so that when we have a Student Senate where no one knows how to code anything we can have it updated and keep it updated with basically the knowledge of Microsoft Word or other types of programs,” Sumnicht said.

Senate is also working to create events on campus that students will want to attend, such as new events for Finals Fest.

“Right now we are in the process of planning a concert for the end of the semester,” Sumnicht said.

Sumnicht revealed that Dennis Dadashev, Senate public relations administrator, is working on heading up a student discount program that students will be able to use in town and, eventually, in Hudson. Students will be able to get discounts by simply showing his or her UWRF student identification card to local businesses.

Dadashev also runs the social media webpages, such as Facebook and Twitter, that follow campus events. He said that he sometimes live-Tweets from the weekly Senate meetings to give people current updates about topics being discussed, but he is focusing on the Facebook page for now.

Dadashev emphasized that people should go and “Like” the Facebook page because he thinks more people should know about Senate.

“One of our biggest goals is just trying to make sure that people know who we are because a lot of people don’t even know that there is a Student Senate and it’s really important that people understand that things like this are going on; like, we’re passing relevant legislation for the university,” Dadashev said.

The Senate Facebook page has been up since Nov. 20, 2009, according to the Facebook page. It currently has 744 Likes, and Sumnicht said he would love to see the Senate Facebook page get 1,000 Likes.

Senate members are also working on getting the meetings to stream live on the website. Right now, the meetings are being recorded and uploaded to YouTube for students to access, but the goal is to overcome a few technical obstacles and stream the meetings on the website so more students can see what Senate is discussing at the meetings.

“We’re looking at a few other solutions where we can actually have, right on our homepage, every Student Senate meeting streaming live so you can watch it anywhere,” Sumnicht said.

To find the Senate on YouTube, search for UWRF Student Senate, or go to its website and click on the YouTube icon.

Senate Treasurer Joseph Schmit said that he hasn’t received much feedback from students about all these new services.

“I think we are doing a good job getting information out there, it’s just getting people to want to hear the information,” Schmit said.

Senate meets every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Willow River Room in the University Center. Visit the student senate website at http://bit.ly/1v6i65R for more information.