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Senate decreases number of voters

Story by Sharon Stauffer

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Despite e-mail and Facebook advertisements, less than a handful of students displayed interest in petitioning to be class officers, and as a result, Baker University Student Senate passed a motion Tuesday reducing the number of voting members elected to senate.

“(Baker) is getting to the point where (it’s) getting bigger, and also people are getting more involved in other activities that they can’t always appear,” outgoing President Ryan Boyer said. “The new way is able to help us meet quorum and always get things done in sort of a timely fashion. It will be more competitive and get more people out to vote.”

Instead of representatives from each campus organization, greek house, on-campus housing facility and class being required to attend weekly senate meetings, only executive officers and certain officers from each class will have to appear. Freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior classes will be required to have a president, vice president and secretary/treasurer. Each class will have the option of electing a class representative as well, meaning 17 senators will have voting privileges when it comes to making decisions and implementing changes affecting the student body.

“The class president would be the one to relate stuff back to the class,” outgoing Vice President Ashley Locklin said. “More emphasis would fall onto each class president and the executive board, so it’s more concentrated and less spread out and more gets done.”

Boyer said any organization with representatives attending student senate or any forming next year still have the opportunity to send representatives to student senate, but they will not be required to appear at every meeting.

“When it is an open floor, it will truly be an open floor where interested organizations, greek houses and stuff like that can request funds,” he said.

Newly elected Vice President Allyssa King said she looks forward to the new changes and goals for student senate next year.

“If you have a smaller group, hopefully they’ll be more of the ones that are really dedicated to student senate, and they’ll be the ones to have the ideas to change things as well,” she said.

Rebecca Fraley, newly elected public relations officer, said she doesn’t know how to get students interested in senate, but they should realize their opinions matter.

“We discuss a lot, and we can change a lot,” she said. “I want people to think they can change things. There’s only so much you can do, and if people don’t want to do it, they don’t want to do it.”

Jacinta Deruso, outgoing public relations officer and newly elected treasurer, said student senate needs to focus on its goals for next year to make the new process work.

“Elections for the upperclassmen won’t be a problem,” she said. “It’s going to be the freshman class that’s the problem because you have to get them interested. Activities fair day will be a big deal for senate, but once we get the freshmen interested, we’ll probably do elections.”

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