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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Community Senate: first semester in review

As you may or may not know, Senate has been faced with a handful of dilemmas so far this semester. Already, we have been faced with quite a few prominent issues that have caused Senate to look deeply into its structure and abilities so that we can try to accommodate the student body the best we can.For one thing, we had to try to figure out a way to consolidate the number of clubs on campus to stay within the bylaws and requirements of the school while students were knocking on the door, pitching ideas for new clubs.

We were able to consolidate some clubs and cut inactive clubs so that new clubs requested by the student body could be formed. Through forums, ICC meetings, etc., and with the help of the excellent club leaders, Senate accomplished its goals and now has an even greater voice in student organization and change.

Already, two new student organizations have gained club status: the Psychology Club and the Forensic Biology Club. We appreciate their patience during this process – they always came to Senate ready to contribute and be fully present.

Soon after this process had been completed a new issue surfaced pertaining to the creation of the GCCA. Not defining themselves as a club and in the early stages of becoming a student run organization, the GCCA asked for funding to go on a retreat to create bylaws for their organization.

The Steering Committee followed procedure and reviewed the proposal before it went to Senate, suggesting that Senate not fund the retreat on the grounds that the proposal lacked detail and the proposed structure of the GCCA seemed to be unclear.

After two weeks of discussion, Senate collectively decided that the purpose and structure of the GCCA had to be further discussed, which will happen on Dec. 9, 2005 at 1 p.m. in the SOC.

During the process of making this decision, Senator Bryan Cahall raised concern over the structure and legitimacy of Community Senate. Because of his concern and “principles,” he made the decision to block every proposal that was brought forth to Senate. This caused yet another dilemma, which has been rather difficult for the leaders of Senate to address.

We dedicated a significant amount of time on Dec. 7 to discussing this issue. As leaders of Senate, we feel that it is important that all student voices are heard and addressed, and so felt it was important for Bryan to have the opportunity to discuss his concerns.

Malcolm Kenton, a student concerned with recent Senate events, organized a forum to discuss these matters outside of Senate. Treasurer David Unger and I chose to attend. We received many valid suggestions, discussed them in Steering, and have planned to work over them during Winter Break.

Major concerns involved accessibility to information and better communication.

Senate has already begun to address these concerns by students, including a small committee to discuss special requests for clubs and budget concerns. This committee will help Senate to discuss policy and social concern at the college.

Even with the high number of dilemmas at hand that Senate has had to address so far this year, I believe Senate has done a great job handling it. Ali Stewart, President of Community Senate, works tirelessly to explore ways for Senate to challenge itself into positive action.

I think this is what makes a good leader. She must be open to the need for change in an organization and be able to take all the controversy that comes with it, such as the idea that Senate is not about a quantitative entity [money], but about quality.

The changes Senate has made thus far have been vital for the continuation of a functional government – which is why Senate has succeeded in the end.

The ideas and steps toward implementation have often been nerve-racking, and have instigated many controversies this year, but controversy is necessary for change and I feel that Senate has handled it well.

Of course, there is always room for improvement

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