Students unaware of senate’s actions

Lack of engagement could be a good sign


Most students don’t know where the fees that they pay go to, how much they pay or who is in charge of deciding where they go.


Jacob Wrasse, student body vice president, said that Senate confirmed that in survey last year.


“There is a significant underestimation of the amount of fees controlled by student senate and a general lack of awareness,” Wrasse said.


“In student government and in university politics, if you do your job well you’re a lot like a good baseball umpire. People only notice you if you screw up.”


The senate allocates over $4 million in segregated fees to organized activities, the $1.2 million Information Technology Budget and the $11 million Blugold Commitment Differential Tuition budget.


Wrasse said that senate is trying to make students aware of senate’s involvement in popular activities like University Activities Commission’s weekly films.


Senate has a public relations commission which promotes it to the campus and community through social media, promotional events and in the Senatorial, an advertisement hung in Davies to promote events.


Despite these efforts there is still a lack of understanding in the students at large about how the student government functions and how it affects them.


Senior Rachel Lionberger said she has gone four years without hearing where senate meets or that the meetings are open to the public.


Lionberger said she knew they controlled some fees, but didn’t realize the amount.


“I think that it’s something people should know more about,” Lionberger said. “Because it does affect everyone.”


She said that more publicity should be given to the budget decisions and how fees affect student’s tuition costs.


Even if students have access to information, engagement is another issue.


Another Senior, Wade Grundmeier, said that he was aware that they allocated the fees, but said that he wasn’t concerned about it.


Grundmeier said that he had never seen or heard anything about senate’s meeting time, but he didn’t think it was very important.


“Honestly, I don’t really care,” Grundmeier said. “It hasn’t mattered to me.”


Wrasse said that attitude is common, and he knows students are busy.


He described senate’s role as giving students the things they need and being involved in students success however they can even if they’re unaware.


Wrasse said seeing the senate’s gallery empty at meetings is “disappointing but understandable.”