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Group discusses senator turnover

Mel Flannigan | Thursday, March 10, 2011

With student government turnover approaching on April 1, Student Senate discussed ways of improving the senator transition workshop for incoming senators at Wednesday’s meeting.

Oversight Committee Chair Paige Becker said the student government constitution requires this transitional workshop to take place when old senators step down and new senators take over the positions.

“It’s supposed to provide some background for incoming senators on Senate,” she said. “For example, the role of senators, parliamentary procedures, time constraints, commitments.”

Many current senators said the training should emphasize the importance of communication with other dorm leaders. Farley senator Leslie Tatlow said the workshop leaders should recommend the senators meet with their hall presidents regularly.

Knott senator Alex Kasparie proposed holding a few joint meetings a semester with both Senate and Hall Presidents’ Council.

“I know it’s a large group of people, but I think it could be constructive for the whole student body,” he said. “It would really help facilitate cooperation.”

Similarly, Pasquerilla East senator Julie Doherty said an event for the incoming senators to meet and get to know each other would greatly reduce any discomfort felt at the first few meetings.

Besides attending weekly Senate meetings, senators are also expected to serve on two committees, such as the Academic Affairs or Social Concerns Committee.

Chair of Academic Affairs Committee AJ McGauley said the workshop should stress that senators are required to not only attend the committee meetings but also to be involved.

“As senators on the committee, you are the bulk of the working force,” Cavanaugh senator Tegan Chapman said.

Chapman said while there are other people on the committees, it is important for the incoming senators to realize a large part of the effort is their responsibility.

“[Non-senators] don’t feel they have to step up and do work,” she said. “But it’s part of your job, you got elected to do that.”