66.2 F
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Student Senate meets to discuss expectations and goals

AS Vice President of Academic Affairs Levi Eckman speaks with the Student Senate at their first unofficial meeting on Dec. 4. // Photo by Kenzie Mahoskey

By Simon Thomas

On Saturday morning, Dec. 1, Student Senate candidates were called with the results of a weeklong election process. The 20 selected members from each college now compose the first elected senate in Western history.

Adding a student senate has been on the Associated Students docket for nearly three years, according to AS Vice President of Academic Affairs Levi Eckman. Eckman was on the task force assigned to create the senate and will be acting AS Senate Pro Tempore without pay as the new legislative branch of student government works on establishing itself.

Eckman said that the seven AS Board members have too much decision-making power as the only students allowed to add items to AS agenda, vote on resolutions and be members of certain committees.

The senate will also take on seats in around 30 different committees that AS Board members filled previously. This will also better balance the power the AS Board has by giving the senate a stronger voice. The senate will also be able to remove AS Board members, creating a democratic way to ensure accountability.

The AS Student Senate met for the first time unofficially on Tuesday, Dec. 4, after members were elected. Approval of the election results will be voted on by the AS Board of Directors at their next meeting on Friday, Dec. 7, making senate activity official.

The purpose of the meeting held by Eckman was to get the newly-elected members acquainted and to familiarize them with the responsibilities and power given to the senate. Senate members received student-employee info packets and a copy of the AS Student Senate Charge and Charter, explaining job descriptions and rules and regulations for the senate.

Years ago, a senate operated as a sub-committee to the AS Board of Directors, but was disbanded due to obsolescence, since the group was never given much to do, according to Eric Alexander, dean of student engagement and Viking Union director. He said the group was unpaid and carried little power, unlike the new senate.

AS Committee Coordinator Cora Cole also spoke to the newly-elected officials to explain the many different committees the senate members will be a part of. Cole said committee appointments will be divided amongst the senate’s members.

AS President Millka Solomon and AS Vice President of Governmental Affairs Natasha Hessami both attended the meeting as well to congratulate the senate members.

The senate will begin operating at full capacity once they schedule meeting times and discuss their branch’s agenda. This, as well as senate staff training, will begin after winter break.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Must Read

Sports: Pros and cons of Seahawks’ NFL draft pick Malik McDowell

Why did the Seahawks go after a defensive tackle with their first selection in the 2017 NFL draft? Coming off...

Resident advisers hold open forum with university officials to discuss concerns

Written by: Bram Briskorn and Questen Inghram Over 300 people packed into Arntzen Hall, room 100 as if it were...

Two Bellingham residents receive Outstanding Graduate title

Ina LaGrandeur and Julie McElroy stood out in their studies at WWU

Latest News

Bellingham, Western’s historical response to health crises

A comprehensive overview from the 1918 Spanish flu to now Drummers, sailors...

Seeking workforce diversity, Bellingham School District creates new position

A new director role in the school district gives hope for equitable change.   Illustration of a teacher...

Two Bellingham residents receive Outstanding Graduate title

Ina LaGrandeur and Julie McElroy stood out in their studies at WWU By Shannon Steffens

Post-apocalyptic movies: morbid fascination or healthy coping mechanism?

With the pandemic taking a toll on the country, people are resorting to more virtual ways of entertainment

Local roller derby league leaves the bruises at home and rolls with the pandemic.

The local roller derby league has started a weekly event that follows current mask and distancing guidelines.

More Articles Like This