Homework, working forty hours or more per week, and keeping up that GPA. These may be some of the factors leading to the loss of membership in the Student Senate. The spring semester starts this week, and the senate will be back in session.
According to former Senator Nick Brewer his reason for leaving was school-related, not the lack of confidence in the Senate.
“Partially, one reason I left the Senate was my schedule, and I wouldn’t be able to make most of the meetings,” Brewer said.
Other reasons for Senator’s leaving were not due to a lack of confidence in the senate, but rather for their own benefit.
According to SGA President Alison Norris, only 2 students left the senate who were studying abroad, and those graduating. As stated by Norris she believes it’s time to recruit new Senators.
“We are going to run ads, and asking the current Senators to spread word to others,” Norris said. “The Student Senate has a retreat coming up, and we will hopefully see a few people come out with interest in becoming a Senator.”
The membership rate at the moment for the Student Senate stands at 16, according to SGA Vice President Jacob Scott.
“We just need two-third vote to pass legislations, which we have been able to do.”
Although it’s a positive sign that the Senate is able to pass legislation, having a few new members wouldn’t hurt.
“We are going to recruit, even if we don’t have a full Senate, and we are still able to pass legislation for the Spring Semester,” Norris said.
However, as stated on the Student Governments website a full senate has 20 Senators, but that isn’t stopping the current one in place.
“With the 10 Senators that we have, we only need 6 at the Senate meetings to conduct our business,” Norris said.
According to current Student Senator Brian Shewell, he will wait to see what the plan for gaining membership will be at the first meeting when they return from Winter break.
“By the first meeting we should have an idea on how we plan to get students engaged, and want to participate in the Student Senate,” Shewell said. “I will be spreading word to other students, and let them know how they can bring their own ideas fourth.”
It seems that SGA executives are already getting to work to find ways to get people involved in the student senate. “Our plan is to recruit two men and two women as Senators,” Scott said. “If students are serious about becoming a Senator, then the 3-day retreat would be the best way to gain instant access to the Senate. If students attend the 2 night, 3 day retreat that would count for 3 meetings.”
According to Senate membership requirements, a student must attend 3 meetings to become a senator.
According to Norris, the decline in membership has been an issue the last couple years. “We have a lot of non-traditional students at Western, and students with schedules that don’t fit with our meetings,” Norris said. “We must now show the students how important the Senate is, and how hard we work for the student body.”