Student Senate has been pushing towards focusing on policy rather than programming. This semester, the senate experienced some turnover and each committee has been working on several initiatives that will continue next semester.
Despite the challenges and transitioning period that turnover presented, chief of staff Emma Hoyhtya envisions a positive environment for Student Senate.
“I think the best way that we’ve been able to overcome the difficulties that we’ve seen this year is just an openness to change and an ability to go ‘This might be hard, but I’m going to put my best foot forward and care about the work that I’m doing,’” Hoyhtya, a sophomore management and leadership major, said.
In the spring of 2019, academic affairs wrote a degree maps resolution to provide students with a more efficient way of viewing course sequencing and planning their four-year degree.
The resolution was voted upon and passed at the beginning of this semester.
Currently, academic affairs is drafting a resolution for its textbook accessibility initiative. Tentatively named “Lydia’s bookshelf,” the system proposes a bank of textbooks in the Cullom-Davis Library.
Student body president Megan Brezka said the system would be similar to how students check out dry erase markers.
“If students know that they could get a free copy of a textbook on reserve in the library, perhaps they would consider group study sessions, which would facilitate collaboration as well,” Brezka, senior pre-med health science major, said.
Brezka and Hoyhtya said Student Senate is not promising that every required textbook for every course will be offered.
“It’ll be very baseline as we get started, but the ideas that the committee is having sound really great,” Hoyhtya said.
The plan is for Student Senate to vote on this resolution at the beginning of next semester.
Campus safety and community relations
The committee is currently working with the executive director of Student Support Services Anne Hollis on its Title IX accessibility and education initiative.
The committee is working toward a more efficient means of anonymous online Title IX reporting and overall Title IX education on rights and procedures. This includes hazing and sexual assault reporting and educating students on which faculty members they can report to.
Campus affairs worked on the menstrual product initiative this semester.
A digital campus survey collected student opinions on the initiative. The campus affairs committee worked with Hollis, who had a similar idea for a menstrual product distribution program.
The committee passed the work to Student Support Services, and two units will be installed over winter break.
One unit will be installed in a female restroom and the other in a gender-neutral restroom. The exact location of the units has not been specified.
Diversity and inclusion
Hoyhtya said there was a report at the beginning of the year claiming that the university-produced video recapping Welcome Week didn’t represent people of color.
According to Hoyhtya, the department of diversity and inclusion for Student Senate developed a relationship with the marketing team at Bradley and maintained communication to make sure marketing materials are more representative of the on campus population.
The diversity and inclusion committee has also worked with the office of international students and dining services to exchange recipes for international food options in the dining halls.
The public affairs committee has been submitting work orders to marketing to update the Student Senate website. They’re updating the current senate roster and members of the executive board. The minutes of this session will also be easily accessible.
“Hopefully, we’ll see something come of that before or during winter break to have prepared when everyone returns for the spring,” Brezka said.
Under new leadership, the committee is introducing a supplement to Rise of the Red. They plan on highlighting members of the Bradley community that are proud to be Bradley Braves.
At the start of the semester, Student Senate made an amendment to its bylaws regarding freshman elections. The elections will now take place three weeks after the start of classes instead of “no later than the third week of September.”
Internal affairs also spearheaded the impeachment of the director of administration. The committee carried out the procedure as stated in the bylaws.
Brezka will be working with internal affairs next semester to discuss the efficiency of the current procedure in presenting resolutions to administration.
Currently, resolutions passed by Student Senate are presented to the vice president of student affairs, passed to the appropriate personnel for further discussion or implementation.
Brezka said she is working with internal affairs to find a way to better communicate with administration.
“Is it really the most efficient method to bring them to the vice president of student affairs or is there something else that we can be doing to further along our work in a more efficient and productive manner?” Brezka said.