The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

UPDATE Senate Elections Postponed According to GA Posting by Secretary Appenzeller

Community Senate Holds First Meeting of the Year with Appointed Senators (Sherman, Sarah)
Community Senate Holds First Meeting of the Year with Appointed Senators (Sherman, Sarah)

“Community Senate elections were postponed,” according to this week’s Guilford Announcements, an e-mail based weekly newsletter for the community of Guilford College that comes out each friday. The posting on Guilford Announcements, submitted by Senate Secretary Elizabeth Appenzeller, did not specify a time or date when elections would be held. “If you are still interested in being a part of Community Senate,” it said,”come to the next Wednesday meeting at 6:30pm in Boren Lounge.”

The elections were originally scheduled for this past Monday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m in the lobby of Founders Hall.

The posting on Guilford Announcements is the first public announcement from Community Senate that specifically mentioned the fall elections following their cancellation by the Senate Steering Committee last Sunday. Steering Committee is comprised of the four Senate executives and the chairs of Senate committees.

A voice-mail sent out to the student body on Tuesday announcing the first Senate meeting to be held the following day stated that “all students that ran for an elected office need to attend.” The voice-mail also stated that there were “a few positions open,” and that “all students still interested are encouraged to attend,” but did not mention the elections that were to have been held the previous day.

As of Sunday evening, only 17 of the 30 positions had people petitioning to run. None of the candidates, according to Senate, were running opposed to another candidate for the same position. Those 17 were appointed to the positions for which they wanted to run.

Community Senate President Naz Urooj said, “We all agreed that there was no need for an election,”commenting on the decision made by the Community Senate Steering Committee.

“We’re not going to waste our time sitting in Founders,” said Community Senate Secretary Elizabeth Appenzeller. “You don’t need to have an election if there isn’t a position being contested.”

Should two or more students contest a single representative position, according to Community Senate, there would be student-wide elections for those positions.

Available as of the Wednesday evening first Senate meeting were the 13 for which people had not yet petitioned.

Residence halls are represented by anywhere from one to four representatives. One more representative was needed in Binford, two more in Bryan, two more in Milner, two for the Apartments and Alternative Housing and one each for English and Mary Hobbs.

Each graduation class has one representative. There are two Day Student representatives, and two Academic Senator appointments were needed as of Wednesday night. One of the two Athletic Student appointments was open. Senate had an International Student appointment and a Minority Student appointment, but needed a Transfer Student appointment and a GLBTA Student appointment.

Steering Committee members, after the meeting on Sunday evening, returned to their dorms and tried to spread the word that elections had been cancelled and attempted to recruit people to fill the open positions. Each member present at the meeting that night took on a different area of campus to recruit.

Senate Vice-President and junior Tamara Asad, in charge of the committee that runs fall elections, was not surprised by the lack of interest.

“Elections were never a popular thing,” she said. “Senate’s reputation has not been that good on campus.”

Historically, such a lack of interest in Senate is not an anomaly. “There were a couple of years where this happened as well,” said Vance Ricks, Community Senate Faculty Advisor and former Guilford Community Senate President. “It’s early in the semester, so it’s often hard to generate enough interest.”

Student reaction to the lack of elections varied.

“I feel OK because Senate is open to everyone, “ said Senior Emily Hatch. “You can always have an impact on Senate; it’s not like it’s an exclusive club.”

Senate was anxious to see the remaining 13 positions filled. Those who were interested in Representative positions but had not yet gotten petitions signed were told during the first Senate meeting to turn in petitions as soon as possible. These people could then fill the open positions.

Commenting on the student apathy, Junior Alison Duncan said, “a lot of people get angry about what decisions are made, but they never take the initiative to get on the committees that make change those things.”

“I feel kind of bad that we didn’t have enough interest,” said First – year Meleah Patterson.

Duncan, like many students, was unaware that elections were cancelled.

Some students were concerned with Senate’s reluctance to communicate in regards to the election.

“I think they probably should have mentioned that there were no elections,” said Junior Michael Shoenbach. He’s worried that the year, in which Senate planned to regain student faith, has gotten off to a rocky start.

Despite the initial dearth of student interest in joining Community Senate, many are optimistic about the upcoming year.

“I am very excited about Senate this year,” said Rebecca Saunders, Senate advisor and Student Activities Events Coordinator. “I am encouraging Senate leaders and my colleagues to set the standards very high for Senate this year.”

Asad commented on the “good turnout from freshmen,” saying that they didn’t share the negative perception of Community Senate instilled in older students. She hopes to “change that negative image of Senate for students.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *