Ever had an issue on campus that you felt was beyond your power to fix? Unbeknown to many students at Salt Lake Community College, there is a group of students that will fight for you, the Student Senate. Unlike in our country’s government though, you won’t see any of these senators get tied up in bribery or scandal.
Senate member Kimberlee Lyons said, “We are here for students to try and make their school experience the best it can be by resolving issues and concerns that they may have,” she said. “The Student Senate’s mission statement is ‘The Student Senate will take heed to the concerns and issues that students have by transferring ideas into meaningful and swift action.'”
In discussing current issues that the Senate is working on, Senator James Morgan offered this insight that should raise interest. He said, “Two main issues being addressed at this point are smoking and text books. Some students are concerned with the rules regarding smoking and would like to see them changed, others are for preserving the so called rights to smoke.” Regarding textbooks, Morgan said, “Textbooks as you know are expensive and constantly changing. We are researching ways in which we can help to reduce the cost for students.”
The Senate meets each week on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. in the basement of the Student Center at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus to discuss the issues that have been brought before them and brainstorm potential solutions to the problems. Lyons said that anyone is welcome to come and observe how the Senate resolves the challenges students present to them. Though the group is overseen by an advisor, Peggy Hoffman, to “make sure that things are being done correctly,” according to Morgan, the senators are the ones that run the meetings and brainstorm the solutions.
Morgan said, “After our senate meeting Peter Moosman [President of senate, VP of students) will take what we’ve addressed to the SLCCSA [Salt Lake Community College Student Association] executive council. Here they will deem what is necessary to be taken to the school administration. Following this meeting there will be a meeting in which these concerns and proposed solutions are presented to the faculty senate [school administration].”
Like any other organization though, unless students speak out on issues, the Student Senate cannot really help improve things.
“Students can utilize the Student Senate by reflecting on their school experience and seeing any kinks or dents that need fixing. Anything that they feel should or could be better, they need to let someone know. Whether that be someone working in the Student Life and Leadership office, or a Student Senator. Then, we will be able to change that issue into something that will benefit students,” Lyons said.
“If you will familiarize yourself with the locations of the offices or with the senators, you will be able to quickly get a concern addressed,” Morgan said
Unlike our nation, the Student Senate at SLCC is not a group that is voted in. Any student can apply at any time by simply picking up an application at the Student Life and Leadership office (SC 124 at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus) or the senate office, which is located with the clubs and organizations. After an application is received, applicants will be contacted for an interview.
Becoming a part of the Senate yourself or by alerting a senator about a problem you would like to see fixed, your experience at SLCC may become more to your liking by utilizing what the Student Senate has to offer.