BLOG: Senate Notebook offers new opportunities, challenges

 

Senate Notebook is an idea that evolved for me over time.  As the news editor, I was covering a lot of stories that had a political tone and dealt with Student Senate. After going to one Senate meeting to find out about some rumors following a story last fall, I was shocked to find out I was the first student to attend a meeting in a year.

The Senate Notebook is a new regular feature designed to keep students up to date on the activities of Student Senate. The notebook allows The Aviso AVW to cover Senate happenings that wouldn't merit a full story on their own.

As the news editor, I continued going to meetings to get story ideas. It’s a central best place to find out about things going on around campus on the student level and on the administrative level. After attending meetings for awhile, I wanted to inform students about what Student Senate was passing and not passing throughout the semester. One of the main complaints I hear is that students don’t know what’s going on until it’s done.

I decided to do this through regular updates that weren’t a complete story but short blurbs of information, more of a list of things that went on in the Senate meetings. My goal was to publish once a month. This was harder than imagined because there is about an hour and a half of meeting time each week in which student senate quickly covers a plethora of issues.

My dilemma was how to thoroughly and succinctly cover what was talked about in a Senate meeting. And so goes the struggle of a journalist.

I’ve written about four notebooks now, and it’s starting to get easier since I’ve made basically set up the types of things I write about. I try to cover the most important issues and concerns brought up which I consider to be the ones that effect students most directly.

I have gotten a lot of great feedback from this addition to the news section from people who say it’s an easy way to keep up on what Senate is doing without giving up a couple hours of their Wednesday nights.

I’m glad that I’ve had the opportunity to inform students of what’s going on ‘behind the scenes’ and hope that this will encourage them to become more involved in the system, seeing that their voice can be heard. The only thing that would help the process and continued refinement of the notebooks is some comments from all of you!

Chelsea Weikart is managing/news editor for The Aviso AVW.

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