When students came onto campus at the beginning of the semester, they knew it was going to look different. Whether it be something as simple as adjusting to the new Hubbell, or as serious as trying to deal with the surplus of schoolwork during a pandemic on top of the election, many students might feel overwhelmed. Ruwayda Egal, the newly elected First-Year Senator, wants to help students work through this period of change.
Acquiring this position is personally important to Egal, who took her reasons for running very seriously. She states that her reasons for running were because she wanted to expand the diversity of the senate.
“It was something I was so interested in,” Egal said. “I want to make sure everyone is seen, and their voices are heard, and I felt like I could be the person to do it.”
Student Body President Adam Koch also commented on the importance of the First-Year Senator role.
“The First-Year Senator helps connect the concerns of first-year students to the rest of the university,” Koch said. “In the past, they have worked to put forward ideas, initiatives and events to help smooth the transition of first-years and connect their issues with solutions.”
When talking about her plans and focus for this school year, Egal highlighted that her plans this year are to “represent the first years.” More specifically, she wants to make sure everyone has a “safe but fun” freshman year while, with equal attention, spending time “to focus on mental health, especially during this pandemic.”
To focus on these goals, Egal is planning to be as accessible as possible and wants to have a number of socially distanced events.
Both Egal and Koch reinforced the idea that First-Year Senator’s main goal is to represent and hear the students of Drake.
“The First-Year Senator runs a committee specifically made up of first-year students,” Koch said. “The committee acts as a think tank to cover all aspects of the first-year experience. Additionally, the First-Year Senator holds office hours for any and all first-years to reach out and connect to her.”
Egal plans to do this and more, and hopes her efforts will make a lasting difference on campus.
“I want to represent everyone and make sure everyone’s voice is heard,” Egal said. “I especially want to make sure we have the best first year since our senior year [of high school] was cut so short.”