Students may be unaware of the recent outlet that has been created to voice opinions about the positives and negatives on campus. The Student Development and Leadership department created the student senate two years ago to give students a representation and voice among school administration.
Through the student senate, students are encouraged to feel comfortable about expressing their issues and concerns to those on the board. The sentators wanted to give students the chance to facilitate change around campus.
“Everyone knows it, we are not a perfect school, but the administration is very open to our ideas and concerns,” said senior business administration major and president of the student senate Valerie Peterson.
Students can have their voice heard by attending general assemblies. The assemblies occur twice a year, once in the fall and another in the spring.
At general assemblies, students’ concerns are brought to the attention of administrators who can move forward with initiating a change or solution. Non-senator students are invitation only in order to be part of the student senate committees.
“We have the power to talk to the administration and go to them…the administration has been very proactive in working with us, hearing what we have to say, and listening to the concerns of the students,” said Peterson.
While many students may be skeptical of any real change happening, some adjustments have already occurred. Adding a concert and carnival during Welcome Week were once topics of discussion that took place in the student senate’s general assembly. These additions were thought to increase student life and enhance the the overall environment during the first week of school. Additionally, the student senate pushed for new items in the C-store, leading to fresh fruits and veggies being sold year-round.
Other changes are in the process, such as a free bike program, which will be called Bikes on the Fly. This program would allow students to use bikes that are placed sporadically throughout campus to get to and from their destinations at a faster pace. The plan is to have at least three bike hubs, one at Saint Charles Borromeo, one at Mother Theresa and another in the center of campus.
Another idea that is being deliberated is having specific fees added into the cost of tuition. A program fee is being talked about, which would help student services conduct large events.
“There is always an issue,” said student senate’s Director of Communications Shay Brown. “There is always something that can be done to better improve Lewis and our experience here whether that is fixing a cold toilet seat or starting up a new club.”
The senate wants to get to know everyone on campus and encourages others to become active by using the student senate as an outlet to be heard by administration.
The senators and executive board promote students to share their ideas to make Lewis as student-friendly as possible.
“It is really important for students to come to us with ideas because if students do not come to us, we are working solely within our own ideas on the student senate,” said William Riley, vice president of the student senate.
“We have 6,500 other students and their ideas that they could bring to us. That could start something completely new and take us to the next level as a student body and proactive university.”
The senate hopes to continue growth and get more students involved.
Students can contact the student senate for any additional questions or inquiries by emailing Shay Brown at LUSSDirectofComm@lewisu.edu.