STUDENT SENATE, MEET 2020 FRESHMEN

By Jillian Kirkham

It’s that time of the year again! Fall elections are here, not just in the real world but also for Student Senate, who welcomes the incoming freshmen class with open arms. You were given your nominees and you cast your votes; now Student Senate can get into the full swing of things with their newly elected members! Annie Kadlecek, senior student body president, said, “Freshmen senate members haven’t completely adjusted to the way things work… which can be beneficial because it allows them to bring an outside perspective.” Every voice and every opinion matters, regardless of how much or how little time you’ve had at Malone. Taylor Bernard, senior class secretary, said, “Freshmen have unique perspectives, especially during these weird times…we need that.” COVID-19 has uprooted a lot of things and Student Senate is no stranger to that. Even the littlest things like the seating arrangement in the meeting room have been affected, which has put a minor strain on the usually close community of students. “It can be easy to get stuck in the ways that we’ve always done things,” Kadlecek said. “New senate members allow for different insight, which pushes us towards being more effective, efficient and impactful on campus.” The incoming freshmen have their work cut out for them, though some of the new members won’t be deterred. Lauren Meadows, the freshman class president said, “I decided to join Student Senate so I would have the ability to represent my class and discuss important topics regarding Malone.” So far Lauren has stepped up to the plate. In the meetings Lauren has attended, she’s made sure her voice has been heard, given ideas and volunteered to head up more than one project, including reaching out to any staff or faculty members involved. Taking initiative and volunteering is what really counts when you get involved in a large group looking to make a difference. Once initial input has been given, everyone else can bounce ideas off of one another, like potential solutions to any problems that may have been raised. Student Senate has always been known to be collaborative and supportive as each of its members treat each other as family. “I am hoping to gain leadership skills as well as friendships through Student Senate,” said William Flaherty, freshman class senator. Flaherty didn’t know what to get involved in from the beginning; he relied instead on contact from a professor to get him started. “I gained inspiration from Bekka, my GEN 100 professor,” Flaherty said. “I went to her when I was questioning the next steps in my major… She helped connect me with people I needed to talk to.”Student Senate isn’t just about the students that are involved. In order to work efficiently and effectively around campus and make change, there has to be equal involvement with the faculty members as well. Each week as more and more issues come to light students will volunteer to reach out to professors, department heads and any other faculty member in the areas affected. Bernard also said, “The freshmen are usually timid in the beginning, but so far a lot of new members have been vocal, and I like it! I think that they’re going to be eager to participate and offer their ideas as much as possible.” Communication is such a big part of what Student Senate does around campus. This is why having members from all grade levels is so important to the success of what Student Senate is trying to accomplish. Student Senate meets almost every Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. in the Brehme Conference Room unless there is a holiday or special circumstance that causes the meeting to be canceled. You do not have to be a member of Student Senate to attend the meetings or to bring forward concerns of your own. In fact, Student Senate encourages any faculty member or student to come and sit in on the meetings and participate as an active member of the Malone community. Come out to the meetings if you can!

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