Senate officers reflect on position changes, the Bryan incident and student involvement

A few weeks into the spring semester, sophomore William Vormelker replaced senior Christopher Lampkin as Senate treasurer. Lampkin resigned about five weeks ago.

“I resigned because I wanted to focus on other things,” said Lampkin, “like devoting more time to studying for the LSATs.”

According to Vormelker, the officer shifts were announced at the Senate public meetings a few weeks ago, and the news was also posted on the Senate Web site.

“The treasurer change was a bit of a surprise for me,” said dean for campus life and Senate advisor Aaron Fetrow. “But I applaud Chris for making this decision and putting academics first, so he can prepare for his future.”

“Sometimes it’s tough to get used to the position changes, because everyone has a different style,” said Senate Vice President Katie Bailey. “There was definitely a transition period for a few weeks, but it went very smoothly.”

“Since we worked with Will as business manager we knew that he is very organized and he got right on the ball with things,” said Bailey. “He already got all the requisition forms organized and ready for budget hearings. He will be an asset to Senate.”

The treasurer is expected to fulfill duties such as processing the requisition forms from clubs and attending board of trustee meetings.

“I was fed up with the fact that the Senate Web site had not been updated and there was no webmaster,” said Vormelker. “I updated it as a side project because it can help improve communication between the students and the Senate.”

According to Lampkin, it is difficult for the treasurer to make sure that club funding from the Senate benefits the campus as a whole.

“Many people complain that CAB (the Campus Activities Board) gets the most funding from Senate,” said Lampkin, “but everything they do is on campus. Many clubs don’t bring their experiences back to benefit others.”

Currently, the Senate does not have a business manager. The officers handed out applications for the position, but none were returned.

“Given the amount of time left in the new semester and the time it takes to train a new person, finding someone now is not worth it to me,” said Vormelker. “Yet, if someone is interested in the position, I will be willing to train them.”

“Overall, I think this semester is going really well,” said Senate president Wes Corning. “I think (the officers) work very well together. We don’t always agree, but that’s important. We have two-sided discussions, and I like that.”

Fetrow said that many students who are not members of the Senate don’t realize the tool that it is for students to create positive change in the community.

“A lot of times students see Senate as a minion to the board of trustees and a representative of the administration,” said Senate secretary Lil Sharpless, “but really we are a body of student voices.”

“I see Senate’s role as a governing body for students to move their voice upward,” said Fetrow, “and I see my role as an advocate to help move the student voice to higher authorities.”

“Students don’t always trust or use Senate as an avenue to create change because there is this whole ‘they’ and ‘us’ thing,” said Sharpless. “But no one is blood-sucking here. In the end we are all about improving the college community.”

According to Corning, Senate has been taking active steps to improve communication between the Senators and the students.

Two ways to get involved are to attend the Senate open meetings in Boren Lounge every Wednesday at 7 p.m. and stay updated through www.guilford.edu.