How long have you been a Student Senator? I was elected as a First Year Senator in the Fall of 2009, reelected as a Dedman I Senator in the Spring, then elected by the chamber to my current position as Chief of Staff.
What are your responsibilities in Senate (committees, etc.)? As Chief of Staff I am charged with maintaining communication between the internal organizations of the Senate. I am in charge of all committee chairpersons, assign senators to one of the seven committees, and serve on the Senate Executive Committee. But I also write legislation and represent campus organizations just as other Senators do.
What are your goals for the upcoming semester? Besides reading days, which is on my agenda and should be on that of every SMU student, I really want to focus on rebuilding the social atmosphere here on campus. I think it is a shame, for example, that the intramural fields are not available for the easy use of the student population. Why force students to go to Sorority Park or off campus to compete with Dallas residents for space when having the intramural fields open for student use would provide both exercise and a stronger sense of campus community? Hopefully we can deal with that and other issues that, if properly addressed, will make our campus even stronger.
Why did you join Student Senate? As anyone else in Senate will tell you, I joined to apply my talents and interests to representing the needs of my peers. But to be completely honest, a lot of it had to do with identity, with finding myself here on campus. I was involved in Student Government in high school but never on such a massive scale. I wanted to see if I could do it, to see if it was the right thing for me. And after an incredible first year, I cannot wait to get back into it. I would encourage anyone and everyone, freshman or otherwise, to do try new and crazy things, even if putting up a bunch of signs with your face and a corny slogan on it scares you to death. If you put yourself out there, you never know what you’ll get.
Why is Student Senate important? Senate is important, from that standpoint, in that it is the primary medium for students to elect representatives of their respective needs. But deciding whether it is really means something depends entirely on the extent to which we as students engage in it. If Senators connect with their constituents and the student body participates in this year’s debate, Senate will not only be important but will accomplish absolutely phenomenal things. The choice is ultimately our own.