So, what exactly is Senate?
On Tuesday, Oct. 10, I was able to sit in on the first Senate meeting. Although I enjoyed getting a peek at the “political” aspect of ASB (Associated Student Body), as a transfer student, I was still a little confused as to how senate works. Thankfully, I sat down with ASB’s Executive Vice President, Anthony Gann, and asked him a few questions:
Can you give me a general overview of what Senate is?
Senate is the representative, or middleman, between students and administration. This is the best way for the students to get what they want. We are the body that carries information from the students to administration.
How did you personally get involved?
I started off last year as a senator for my floor, third floor Prescott. I loved it, and at the end of the year I was asked to consider running for ASB Executive Vice President. I thought about it, prayed about it, then ran and won. Initially, before becoming a senator, I had always wanted to do something that would impact the school and help change [Union] for the better. I felt like this was the best way to do it.
How do ASB and Senate work together?
ASB has two branches under it—Campus Ministries and Senate. Campus Ministries does the religious events on campus,and then Senate is the legislative branch of ASB. They're separate, but work closely together. [Senate] does the checks and balance of ASB; we make sure everyone who works for ASB, and the elected officials of ASB, do their job. We make sure ASB as a whole is abiding by the constitution and bylaws, check their budget ... Stuff like that.
Do you have examples of bills Senate passed in past years?
One of the bills that got passed was by James Clague—opening the ports for Xbox. I’m not too familiar with other people’s bills, but some of the bills I got passed last year included allowing mace and pepper spray to be carried on campus, because it wasn’t clear in the handbook if it was allowed. We had a bill that got passed for a memorial bench for Moses Arevalo, a student who passed away last year. Another big bill we got passed was exterior door numbering, to allow emergency services to find a door easier.
If a student wanted to bring an issue to Senate, how would they go about doing it?
The best way to do that would be to reach out to their senator. Within the next couple of days, the senators representing each floor should be getting in contact, by email or in person, with their district. So, reach out to your senator, let them know your concern or what you would like done, and they will bring that to Senate. They’d talk about it with us, we’d have a discussion, and we’d see if it was necessary to create a bill, or if it could be taken care of without a bill. If a bill is needed, we’ll draft up a bill and try to get it passed.
Anthony Gann is a junior studying business administration
Autumn Mott is a sophomore studying communication