Photo: Lauren Horsch
Every Thursday night a group of students gather in the Drake Room in Upper Olmsted to voice their opinions and vote on plans that could change the lives of students at Drake University. This group of students is elected by the student body every year. This group is highly motivated and wants to reach out to the community. This group is Drake Student Senate.
Student Body President Greg Larson is hoping to accomplish a lot this as he starts his year around the table. He was hard at work over the summer reaching out to find contacts to help bring things to the university that would benefit and interest students.
“Establishing the contacts is 50 percent of the work,” he said.
He wants to work on making more contact with the students on campus. He said going out and meeting students had been a struggle for previous sessions of Senate.
One way Senate plans on reaching its constituents is by utilizing once-a-month strategic meetings.
Vice President of Student Life Matt Van Hoeck said the strategic meetings will help accomplish the goal of reaching out to students. There will be a meeting the first Thursday of every month. The week prior to the meeting, there will be an “outreach period” which the senators will participate in.
“Senators will partner up, go out anywhere on campus, introduce themselves, ask students questions, bring up issues and talk to them (students),” Van Hoeck said.
Vice President of Student Activities Jessica Hamilton, who is also the president of the Student Activities Board, wants to collaborate more with the Organizational Council and other groups on campus.
All three want students to get involved with Senate and SAB. The two groups were at the Activities Fair yesterday handing out information and talking about the organizations.
There are six standing committees in Senate as well as spots reserved for first-year students. Van Hoeck said that there are 40 open positions available. If students are still interested in getting involved, applications are available in the Student Life Center.
Larson said the easiest way for students to get involved with Senate is to go to the office in Olmsted and talk to the senators. He said that he is “almost always” there, and if someone isn’t in the office then students should either leave a note or email a senator directly.
Hamilton said that students who are interested in joining SAB should visit its website and read about what the committees do, and then they should email her for more information.
The student body elects senators, therefore they answer to concerns the student body has. Larson said that a lot of the decisions Senate makes affects not only the students on campus but also those that have graduated from Drake.
Van Hoeck said the senators around the table are “driven and motivated” and want to help the students. He also said the senators will try to keep in check with everything that happens at the university.
Hamilton said that SAB is working to create “innovative and exciting” programming for students.
“Give everything a shot,” she said.