17 seats remain open, students can petition to represent buildings other than their own
Student Senate’s first meeting was Monday, and no students petitioned to fill any of the 17 available seats.
This is the highest number of unfilled seats Senate has seen in recent years, Student Body Vice President Ben Koch said.
He said he hopes more students join Senate, because a larger Senate can help the student body more than a small Senate.
“I think having a small Senate takes away from our opportunities to hear everyone,” Koch said. “I think we have a group of 15 stellar individuals. But no matter how good those 15 individuals are, it’s impossible for them to help everyone.”
Beginning Monday, students are able to petition to join Senate regardless of if there are open seats to represent their buildings.
Before this, students could only run for a seats to represent where they live.
“If you’re a representative of Williams [Hall], you’re truly representing all of campus,” Koch said. “But right now, it’s unfortunate because we do have some constituencies without any representation.”
He said some students have said they plan on petitioning to join during next week’s meeting, but couldn’t join this week because their constituencies were full.
Last year there were seven seats open after elections, and in 2006 there were 11 seats open.
Koch said Senate has a difficult time attracting individuals at the Activities Fair because students have to be elected, whereas students can freely join most other activities that participate in the fair.
Students who are interested in representing other students and who are willing to work to make a difference are ideal senators, Koch said.
“We’re also hoping to get some upperclassmen involved,” he said.
Students interested in joining Senate can pick up a petition in the Student Activities Office, in the basement of the Michel Student Center.
Students must obtain 40 signatures from students on the petition.
Then students must come to a Senate meeting and briefly tell the existing members why they would like to join the organization. The student will leave the room and Senators will vote if they think the student should be allowed to join.
Senate meetings are Mondays at 3:30 p.m. in the Garrett Center.