Elections approach for student senate

Graphic by Brett Ferrin
Graphic by Brett Ferrin

Weber State University students interested in running for a student senate seat must register with the Office of Student Involvement & Leadership in the Shepherd Union Building, Room 326, before Friday at noon.

The senate has recently cut the spending limits for election campaigns in the hopes of encouraging students to run for positions. Spending limits are set at $250 for legislative positions, and those found exceeding the limit will be disqualified from the legislative race.

“Senate is bigger than any one group or individual,” said senate president Brady Harris. “I really believe in the power of the senate to change the lives of students.”

According to the legislative elections packet, the role of a senator has four parts: first, to represent the voice and opinions of their constituency; second, to bring forward issues and ideas for college and campus improvements; third, to represent the WSU student body to administration; and finally, to participate in various activities, events and projects all across campus.

“The primary role of each senator is to be someone who is social and outgoing,” said WSU student body president David Wilson, “someone who can find the good and bad situations needing to be addressed, and be willing to work to resolve those issues.”

Senators are required to participate in weekly senate meetings, establish an area council for their constituency, gather input and inform students of changes when they have occurred, and to attend meetings, events, outreach activities and more throughout the year.

“Being a part of senate is a lot of work, and takes a lot of commitment,” Harris said. “I believe often senators get elected and are surprised by the amount of time they have to put into the position.”

Jeffrey Henry, the newly elected senate president for 2014-15, said that through being a senator, students are able to learn what the driving force is behind problems all across campus.

“My original plan was to get through school and get out as quickly as I could,” Henry said. “However, by becoming a senator I have had experiences I would not have had otherwise.”

Each senator receives a $1,000 tuition waiver as compensation for his or her time.

“Personally, I believe the biggest benefit you get from being a senator is you get to be a part of something bigger than yourself,” Harris said. “You do not always get the recognition for the role you play on campus. However, the senate does play a big role in what is done on campus.”

Senate positions are available for all seven colleges across campus; athletics; the Davis campus; the residence halls; African-American, Asian/Polynesian, Hispanic, honors/BIS, international, Native American, traditional and nontraditional students; students with disabilities; and veterans.

Harris said the ideal candidates for the senate would have a desire to serve and to represent their fellow students.