Student Senate Encourages Students to Get Involved with Committees
Photo credit to Tobias Novak
Student Senate officers on Tuesday encouraged students to join the ad hoc Constitution, Budget, and Election committees to help the Senate prepare for the next academic year.
Ad hoc committees – Latin for “as necessary” – meet each spring to make preparations for the next school year.
President Julia Witt said that the Senate is considering rewriting its constitution, thanks to advice from members of Concordia Wisconsin’s student government. In years past, only minor changes were made to the constitution, but a full rewrite would better serve the Senate’s interest, Witt said.
“Usually, we just make minor changes and edits but, like we said, we wanted to work on rewriting our constitution this year so it’s a more functional document that better represents the Student Senate as it is now,” Witt said.
Sign-ups for the Constitution Committee will last two weeks, and meetings will begin shortly after, Witt said.
Each club must submit a proposed budget for the next school year before spring break, said Treasurer Alec Johnston. He said the Budget Committee will meet after spring break to review each club’s budget and approve the projected expenses item by item. Approved budgets are balanced out within the overall Senate budget.
Johnston joked that it’s fun “shooting things down” and helping decide club budgets as a part of the committee.
“If you want to power trip about money, join Budget Committee!” Johnston said.
The Election Committee will meet if more than four students anticipate running for office this spring.
Secretary Maddy Peters, who heads the Election Committee, said that committee members are “in contact with the Student Life Office, (and) they’re looking at the constitution to see what kind of protocols need to be done so that we can elect new senators.”
The Senate has not had an election with members running against one another for several years. Current officers said they encourage as many students as possible to run for office.
Senate officer positions are paid positions at the Nebraska minimum wage, currently $10.50 per hour. Senate officers are automatically paid for five hours a week.
Candidates for treasurer must be on the Budget Committee, and candidates for president and vice president are encouraged to be on the Constitution Committee, Witt said.
Meeting With Other Student Governments
Student Senate officers met with leaders of Concordia Wisconsin and Concordia Ann Arbor student governments during the Concordia Invitational Tournament weekend.
“We were able to meet with the financial officer and operating officers of Concordia Wisconsin’s student government and then the interim president of Concordia Ann Arbor’s student government,” Witt said
The representatives of the other Concordias shared how they run their student governments and compared methods.
“We were able to talk about different ways that student governments can be run and different things that each group has been doing, and kind of comparing and contrasting and getting ideas from each other about what’s good, what’s not, what are they doing better, what are we doing better,” Witt said.
Witt said they discussed getting students to participate in clubs, which is a common problem.
“Wisconsin seems to be doing a little better (than Concordia Nebraska), but not great. But they’re also a bigger school with bigger budgets,” she said. “Ann Arbor seems to be at about the same place we are.”
Witt did not mention any specific ideas discussed to remedy the lack of club involvement.