Senate not filling seats

By Jennifer Kohler

October 31, 2006

Student Senate not worried about 10 senator resignations “We do the best we can with the members we have now.” That’s what Natalie Bailey, SGA president, said about the number of senators the Student Senate currently has, and the decrease the senatorial body faced since the beginning weeks of school. At the end of the 2006 spring semester, 20 new senators were elected. A couple of weeks after the fall semester started, 18 more senators were appointed, leaving the number at 38. Since then, eight senators have left, resulting in 10 open seats for the Student Senate. This decrease leaves questions in some people’s minds as to why there was such a reduction within the first quarter of the school year. The Student Senate, the main representation and voice of the student body, is committed to serving the students at Western in the best way possible. That being said, how hard is it to fully represent a large body of people without a full senatorial body? Luke Herrington, president of the Student Senate and vice-president of SGA, has decided that the Student Senate will continue on with its business despite the number of senators. “It is important to have as many people as possible partake in discussion and voting to represent our studentbody to the best of our abilities,” Herrington said. Herrington also said that with a lower number of senators comes a lower representation of the students. “I think having a full body will only make it better,” Herrington said. Several reasons contributed to the decrease in senators. Most were due to previous obligations and time commitments. One nontraditional student was taking more than 18 credit hours with a family and a job. The requirement became too hard to fulfill. Other students had work and classes that wouldn’t allow for them to make it to the meetings. One senator, Jeremy Funk, had to resign from Senate because of military duty. “I left to go oversees, Funk said. “When I came back, they changed my days off.” Unable to rejoin because of his working schedule, Funk said he would return if he could. Herrington recalled that each year several students get weeded out in the first several weeks because of time commitments, class, work and other reasons. “I think some people want to be active, and they just over- stretch themselves,” Herrington said. “I’m really glad that we still have more than 20 senators, and we’ve reached 3/4 of our goal.” Bailey agrees that it is something that happens every year. “I don’t see it as a problem,” Bailey said. “Of course we want to be at 40 senators, but we want people who want to be there.” Forty people compared to 30 can cover a lot more of the student body. “I’m not really worried about the senate,” Funk said. “I think as long as they keep promoting senate, they will get their numbers back. Once they get it out to the new people and promote it more, they will have upcoming members that will replace them. It’s a great organization that can cope very well with the members it has.”