Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

Student Senate upgrades application process while looking to fill seats

Student senate Vice Chair Judson Cease, sits with Senate Chair Joshua Dodge, to discuss attendance and the need to fill future empty seats.
Sam Hill
Student senate Vice Chair Judson Cease, sits with Senate Chair Joshua Dodge, to discuss attendance and the need to fill future empty seats.

Posted on September 08, 2014 in News
By Sam Hill

The 43rd Student Senate held their first meeting of the semester last Friday and, while there was little official business on the table, attendance and filling seats in the senate was talked about the most.

Throughout the meeting, the importance of communication and attendance was discussed multiple times, and it was announced that four different senators would become less involved in different ways as the semester progresses.

Senator Christian Webb was excused from the first meeting by other senators, but it was made known that he would likely be missing the first five meetings of the semester as he went through tutoring training.

Senator Nick Marcketta and Senate Chair Joshua Dodge will be leaving after the fall semester and Senator Keegan Delaney, who was absent, is likely to resign.

Dodge said that he isn’t concerned and the senate goes through natural phases of losing and gaining members.

“The beauty of the senate is that it’s fluid, but stays structured. I’m confident that we’re going to have a handful of competent new senators soon,” said Dodge.
Dodge added that he has already been approached by numerous freshmen about joining the Student Government Association.

Dodge will likely be replaced by Senate Vice Chair Judson Cease.

“It’s in our constitution that the vice chair will step up if they have to, and I’m completely confident that he’ll be able to,” said Dodge. “He’s been my right-hand man so far.”
Last year, members of the senate were sometimes accused of filling empty seats with their friends and people of similar interest groups, because the process to appoint a senator was so simple.

They’re combating those accusations with a new petition form that would require prospective senators to get 100 signatures from students to join.

“We want new senators to be good stewards of students and not just have the senate filled with people who just don’t know what to do with their spare time,” said Dodge.

“This way, a senator has to go up to students around campus and say, ‘this is why I would be a good senator,’ instead of just interviewing with one of us,” said Senator Joshua Tharpe.
Last year, the student senate had to cut its budget and the budgets of entities like Gorham and Portland Events Boards because of a lack of funds late in the semester caused by low enrollment. This crisis meant extra hours of work for senators.

“We want people who are dedicated,” said Dodge.

Dodge said that the senate will start advertising the open seats to the student body soon, and they will be marketed more heavily than in the past.

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