Goshen College’s Student Senate members vary in age, majors, hobbies and interests, but there is one thing they are all passionate about: changing Goshen College for the better.
The Senate is comprised of ten members, with five cabinet members and five at large members. The five cabinet members are Abby King as president, Elijah Lora as vice president, Jace Longenecker as treasurer, Kethayun Mehta as head of publicity, and Nat Dick as student organization liaison.
Senate’s biggest goal this year is to bridge the gap between administration and students. The group feels in the past, students and administration have clashed. Senate hopes that this year they can make a connection between the two groups happen. Dick says that the senate wants to “provide an avenue for students to have the campus they believe in.”
This year is unique for the senate, as all of the members are new. King states that “we are calling [this year] a rebuilding year,” with even the advisor Corie Steinke being new to her position. Last year Steinke oversaw student apartments and campus activities, but this year the responsibilities of intramurals, commuters, and finally, student senate, were added to her job description.
The primary function of the senate is to hear the questions and concerns from the students. The senate’s goal is to “make student body issues their issues,” and “be the paradigm of leadership on campus,” according to Steinke.
Although the opening for applications to senate is over, students are still encouraged to join next year. Student Senate members have the ability to help create policy and make changes on the Goshen College campus. Dick states that “a number of people in the past…joined student senate particularly to make A or B or C thing happen.” Steinke adds that if you have an issue that you want addressed, do something about it. Joining senate or even going to a meeting is a perfect way to get your voice heard.
Student Senate works hard to make sure student voices are heard and that changes are able to be made where needed.
“We make a difference. We have potential to make a difference. We want to make a difference,” said King.
There will be a town hall meeting hosted by student senate on Wednesday, Sept. 27 in the Administration building, room 27. This meeting will be about campus food concerns. Last year, the Leaf Raker Cafe was open until 9:00 pm, but this year it is only open until 4:30 pm. Because of this change, certain students are not able to have dinner of any kind, since both the Westlawn Dining Hall and the Leaf Raker Cafe are closed after 7:00 pm. This town hall will be a place for students with concerns about this issue to raise them.
The Senate is also planning to have open forums with identity-focused groups such as Black Student Union, Latino Student Union, International Student Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Goshen Student Women’s Association, in order to make sure they all feel welcomed on campus. The senate plans on going to those clubs in order to listen to their opinions and have their voices be heard.
The group meets every Tuesday at 6:00 PM in the Ad Building, room 21. Students are welcome to come to the meeting to sit in and observe or voice their concerns.