June 23, 2024

Springing forward with student government 

After passing 13 bills in the 2023 fall semester, student government is ready to continue boosting student engagement and campus amenities into the spring. 

“Last year alone, there were less than 13 (bills) for the entirety of the year. So it’s a really big deal that we got 13 bills that passed through and are now in effect,” President Beverly Kinateder said. She recounts last semester’s focus on student amenities as the subjects of recently passed bills.

Among the newly passed bills, there have been achievements in student accommodations, such as a reordering of student parking spots to create nearly 40 new overnight spots in lot S2, as well as purchases of hammocks that fit the existing hammock stands around campus.

Allotted student spaces have been seeing recent developments and changes under student government as well. 

New additions to the commuter lounge, now located in the lobby of Schaaf, had been an important focus for the government. 

“We need a space for commuters on campus that has amenities that students will find in their dorm, such as a TV, a couch, all of those things. Student government allocated $400 To purchase a TV, coffee pot, games and other essentials,” Kinateder says.

The interfaith prayer room, formerly located in Saylor-Ackermann, has been moved to a somewhat controversial new space in Trinity Lutheran Seminary room 120. 

Resolutions for other big projects have also been decided upon in an effort to boost student culture.  

Kinateder briefly mentions that resolution for the proposal of a new mascot to replace the former “Cappy” is one of the new goals of student government, as well as additions of murals around campus. 

“We’re a liberal arts school. So we have a lot of students with interest in the arts and art majors, that sort of thing. I have some senators talking to the art department and figuring out where on campus to put these murals,” Kinateder explains. 

Improvements on overall student engagement has been a long-term goal of student government, as students continue to adjust to post-remote learning. 

Events like the “Comets After Dark” silent disco, an Activity Management and Programming (AMP) and student government collaboration, will take place in Schneider North on Jan. 25 from 7-9:00 p.m.

“It’s going to be super fun. Its intended purpose was to boost student morale during the sort of dark months between winter break and spring break. We’ll be a couple of weeks into the semester to get back into the swing of things, “Kinateder said. “We hoped to increase student engagement as well here, so targeting communities as well, like keeping it on a Thursday night. Hopefully students can come after their evening classes.” 

Kinateder is also excited for this year’s Senior Soirée, “Senior Soirée is definitely a pretty big feat for student government to undertake and I think we have a wonderful event planning committee that will make the event just excellent this year. That’ll be a big focus that second semester.” 

As far as struggles in the past semester have gone, an influx of student senators has been the biggest challenge to overcome. A new constitution that better suits the size of the university, as well as new committees and committee chairs means a lot of training for new senators. 

Senator and only returning committee chair Adham Hamed feels hopeful about the increase in the size of the government, as well as the growth of the senator population. 

When speaking of his goals for this semester, Hamed said, “Definitely raising more awareness to people who are not aware of our initiatives and were not aware of who is on the student government. Awareness will bring more initiative and more intent, which is something we really need.”

Speaking on continued goals and outreach for student government, Hamed said, “We’ve definitely had a lot more outreach with the student body this year. So definitely the awareness has been made about student government. We’ve been doing our best to bring in special guests.”

As the student government continues to work toward continuing to better campus and student life, further training and experience for new senators will help push all new legislation forward. 

“I’m excited to see what other ideas and initiatives our senators have as we go forward. Now that they’ve had a semester down of being in student government. I’m excited to see them blossom and see where their leadership will take place,” said Kinateder.

The student government continues to ask for student outreach and ideas to meet their goal of creating a better campus for every Comet, and reminds everyone Sunday meetings are open to the student body.

Author

  • Megan Mitchell

    Megan is a second-year English Literature and History major. She is a Smooth Transitions mentor, an editor for ReCap, a student archives assistant at Blackmore Library, and a member of Film Club. In her free time she enjoys reading and watching movies.

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