Going through the line at Hubbell Dining Hall on Oct. 24, you may have had to do a double take. Intermixed with the Sodexo workers were Student Senate members, getting the dish on the issues that are on students’ plates.
“Our goal for today was to get more interaction and input than we would normally get,” said Sen. Josh Abbott. “This is a great way for us to touch base with people on a different level, when they are not in a hurry on their way to class but just enjoying, giving us more thorough and accurate inputs and opinions on issues that they would like to see us address.”
On the forefront of these issues is plus-minus grading and academic advising, Abbott said.
Senate members were not confined to the kitchen, and could be seen casually mingling with students throughout the cafeteria.
“One of the specific things we have right now are the surveys we have out on the tables, so if they do not want to come up and have a long conversation they can, on their own time, while they are eating, fill it out and drop it off in a box and have their say without having an upfront conversation if they do not want to,” said sophomore Sen. Michael Terrell.
Student Senate is always looking for ways to increase communication with the student body.
“In general, we are trying to have less office hours and more hours outside of the office, so we can go to students so students don’t have to come to us,” said junior David Karaz, vice president of student life. “Some of that is through social media as well, such as the Facebook page. We have over 800 students giving us constant feedback from the caps in the Starbucks coffee to larger items like the safety on campus.”
Their efforts are not going unnoticed.
“I think it is a very clever, unique idea. It shows that they are willing to engage. I really do like all the changes that have happened since I was a freshman, as I am a senior now, so I have seen a lot of change. I think the Student Senate has been doing a good job,” said senior Amra Beganovic.
Fellow senior, Cesar Bracho agreed with Beganovic.
“The fact that the library is open 24 hours now is a huge change that has benefited a lot of people, especially me, because I like to study at four or five in the morning,” Bracho said.
To learn more about issues that student senate is addressing, or to pose an issue yourself, you can go to their Drake University Student Senate: Student Services Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter @DrakeStuSenate.