BY IAN KLEIN
Over winter break, students at Drake University celebrated the advent of 2018 by making “New Year’s Resolutions.” In a similar fashion, members of the Drake University Student Senate have crafted lofty goals for the rest of the school year.
Student Senate President Nathan Paulsen serves as the head of the Executive Board, which is comprised of vice presidents Anna Gleason and Anna Jensen along with Student Body Treasurer Trevor Matusik. Paulsen says that the Executive Board has three key plans for the Senate this semester.
Paulsen explained that one of the first items on the Senate agenda is the creation of a new “campus calendar.” The calendar is attempting to remedy past circumstances in which events planned by multiple campus organizations have landed on the same date and time.
“Myself and other student senators have and are continuing to work on a temporary campus calendar fix that would work for the semester in hopes to provide the student body some view of all campus events and programs occurring as well as displaying the importance of this campus calendar to the administration,” Paulsen said.
Second on the Senate agenda is the formation of a political committee that would consist of presidents from campus political organizations.
The political committee would be overseen by the campus engagement student senator, who would serve as a non-partisan mediator for the committee.
“The goal is to show unity and allow these tough political dialogues to occur in a civil manner instead of getting out of control like we see at other universities,” Paulsen said. “We want all political ideologies to have a voice and come together for conversation.”
A third objective of the Student Senate is to inform students on how to vote under the new voter identification laws for the state of Iowa. According to the Des Moines Register, the Iowa state government passed voter ID laws in May of last year that requires eligible voters to present some form of identification at polling places. The laws may change the ability of some students at Drake to vote.
“There is clearly controversy behind the passing of this law but as a Student Senate, we are going to work on remaining independent and non-partisan on the issue and instead play an informative role throughout the rest of the semester in order for students to be fully informed on how the change will affect them as voters,” Paulsen said.
Senators beyond the Executive Board have goals for the spring semester as well.
Giada Morresi, who is the facilities and technology senator, says she will work with committees “to make Drake greener and more energy-efficient” and “to improve quality of food and service in our dining halls.”
Student senators will also be collaborating with Drake students who are members of Senate committees to fulfill additional Senate projects.
Student Senate meets weekly on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. in Room 201 of Cowles Library.