New year, new hopes for Student Senate

Story by Alex Zank, Chief Copy Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






It was 11 a.m. on Labor Day; there were hardly any people in the new Davies Center. On the second floor, in the dark, expansive (and still mostly empty) Student Organizations Complex where Student Senate offices are located, were three senators — including Student Body President Corydon Fish, already preparing for the upcoming semester.

Fish, sitting in his office that was still full of boxes and supplies, had his email messages pulled up.

“The amount of emails I send in a day is kind of ridiculous,” Fish said. “That’s honestly the biggest part of the job is
connecting people.”

This scene marks just the beginning of a new semester. And, as Fish suggests, it should be a busy one for the Senate. Fish said there are plans in the works to improve the UW-Eau Claire representative body as far as transparency, accountability and efficiency. This starts with new people and big ideas.

“Serving my term as president is definitely what I’m looking forward to (the most),” Fish said, adding he feels upbeat about the new legislative session.

Fish said there are 21 new members this year, and thusly there should be plenty of fresh ideas in the Senate. He also believes the new Senate will be more representative of the
student body.

“We don’t have entrenched interests in Senate like in past years,” Fish said. “We have some members from athletics … we (also) have students from the
multicultural community.”

Senator Ellen Sorenson is one of the 21 new
members this session. Sorenson decided to run because of her previous experience with the Student Office of Sustainability; she is now serving as the
commission’s director.

Sorenson said one of the most important things serving as senator is setting aside her personal viewpoints and doing what is best for students and the university, especially in the long term.

“You can’t just think of ‘my four years here’,” Sorenson said. “You have to think … this campus will [still] be here in the next 50, 80 years.”

One of the things Fish hopes to improve on this year is accountability both within Student Senate and the student
organizations.

Fish said the biggest thing to make Senate more accountable is to make sure each director in each individual commission has defined goals with measurable results in order to ensure
greater success.

As far as keeping organizations more accountable, Fish said there will be new finance bylaws proposed the first meeting to establish an auditor position who would have the responsibility of going through accounts and looking at the receipts of the organizations that the Senate funds.

Sorenson stressed that students should not be afraid to approach her and other student senators as well as stay informed on what Student Senate is doing.

“Instead of looking into a problem and just being quick to judge it … figure out why it is different, or why is it changing, and come talk to someone to try and see the process,” Sorenson said. “If you understand the process you can make more informed
decisions.”

The first Student Senate meeting is set for Monday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. in the
Dakota Ballroom.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email