Running for Student Senate is important
March 26, 2015
Every UW-River Falls student should have received an email March 25 in regards to running for 2015-2016 Student Senate, and the Student Voice is calling for students to step up to the plate and submit applications.
In recent years, Senate election turnout numbers have been extremely low and that is worrisome, because Senate has a lot of power over the student body. A good portion of Senate members will be graduating in May, and it’s important to fill their shoes.
In the Oct. 8, 2010, edition of the Voice, four students were asked if they voted in the Senate elections. The responses were very telling, here’s why:
“I didn’t know where to vote.”
“I’m a freshman and I didn’t even know what is was about.”
“I didn’t feel like it, and I didn’t even know enough about it.”
“I didn’t know anything about it.”
Three years later, only 113 students voted in the 2013 elections. There’s something wrong with this picture. Students don’t seem to recognize that Senate even exists until the student organization they belong to is affected by Senate.
Senate and the Allocable Fee Appropriation Board (AFAB) distributes money wherever it feels fit, giving extreme power to a small group of students. Great power equals great responsibility, and we hope that the student body realizes that running for Senate, and possibly winning an election, could mean a giant step in the right direction for a specific group of individuals on campus.
Senate needs to fill seats for the upcoming academic year, and it would ideal if students from all colleges and a variety of majors took the vacant spots. The Voice feels that it’s important for Senate members to be aware of not just a handful of student organizations but all student organizations, as well as be wary of the needs of students from a variety of backgrounds or circumstances.
While Senate has successfully gutted the Voice’s budget, we still recognize the difficult situation it was put in. Money is tight, we get that. It cannot be easy to sift through nearly 100 student organizations and single out a choice few. However, a good portion of the Senate regime will be moving on in a couple months, so, if you feel like Senate doesn’t have your interests in mind then run for a seat. Applications are due by April 3, and each applicant needs 50 signatures.