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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

New senate executives outline goals for next year

On April 14 the newly elected executive board was approved by the community. The board is already looking towards the future, and has many plans for the upcoming years.The board hopes to regain trust, improve communication, and start working on plans to improve the school.

“One of our goals is making sure all of our actions and decisions reflect the voice of the people as much as we can,” said Treasurer-elect Lamar Gibson.

The executive council’s main goal is to gain back the trust and respect of the community that they feel Senate has lost over the years.

“I think that one way to regain respect will be reworking the by-laws to make Senate more accessible to the community at large,” said Vice President-elect Patchouli Oerther in an e-mail interview. “I think being proactive and showing the potential of Senate to have great impact on the community will further combat the perceived problem.”

Besides reworking the by-laws, Senate is also going to make the by-laws more accessible to all students through a Google document, so there can be more student contributions. President-elect Dana Hamdan believes that students have the right to understand the policies of their school.

Gibson had a different outlook on how to reclaim faith in Senate.

“An honest, good faith effort at listening,” said Gibson. “Leaders in general struggle at listening, but we’re at the point where that can be at the top of our list.”

The executive board also has plans that will affect the community for years to come. An idea has been forming to make the room on the right side of the Community Center into a 24-hour deli and coffee shop, where students could study.

“We are trying to utilize the things we already have,” said Hamdan. “A lot of ideas, like the deli, were student ideas, and it is great to get student input. If you give students the chance they have really great ideas that need to be taken seriously, and most importantly, implemented if possible.”

Another idea from Hamdan is to try and get two 20-minute parking spots outside of Founders, Bauman, and the library, so that people can run in quickly to get their food, print a paper, or grab a book. Hamdan hopes to begin implementing these plans soon.

“None of these plans are set in stone,” said Hamdan. “However, we are not waiting for the fall to start everything; we are starting in the summer so that when students get back, Senate will be rolling.”

Senate’s budget for next year is between $454,740 and $483,120. How much money Senate has per year depends directly on the number of students enrolled in the college, because it comes from student activities fees.

Another goal involves improving communication.

“A Facebook group could be one means of communication, e-mails are great,” said junior Rory Smyth. “It’s a two-way street, you know. Students have to want to be involved.”

According to Gibson, the administration and students are working to establish Orgsync as a replacement for the Buzz.

“Orgsync will allow us to share calendars, clubs can share events, and each person has their own module,” said Gibson. “It will make campus communication more effective in all sectors.”

When asked what the main points of the WE ticket’s platform were, Oerther responded, “Student involvement and senate responsiveness. Making sure that there are effective dialogs happening that students will be interested in.”

The members also have a few goals of their own.

“There’s no how-to guide for what to do to hold an event and people are confused on how to get funds. Those are things I personally want to make very easy for students,” said Gibson. “I want to make a tutorial so that the moment a student has an idea, like a healthy eating conference, they can go online and there will be something that tells them the steps they need to take.”

The executive board also foresees obstacles. Hamdan said that because Senate meets so often, their discussions do not always reach the administration or the students.

“That’s good that we are having a conversation that is ongoing, but Community Senate is the channel between students and administration,” said Hamdan. “And sometimes information gets stuck in Senate, and sometimes we are the only link, and that is something we need to overcome.”

Another obstacle is the lack of participation that Senate has experienced over the past few years.

“I think that our success may be contingent on the amount of participation we have,” said Oerther. “Gaining this participation will certainly be a priority of ours throughout the upcoming year.”

Despite the obstacles, the executive board said that they are aware of their limitations, and they believe they will be able to overcome them. According to Hamdan, one agreed strength is that all members of Senate, not just the four executives, have qualities that work well together.

“A potential strength (of the new executives) would be all the new faces; they may be able to give a fresh perspective on Senate and our community,” said current president Nancy Klosteridis.

The executive board hopes to start taking the steps to reach these goals within the next few weeks and continue into the summer. They have high hopes for the upcoming year.

“I think Senate has a lot of potential to greatly improve and impact the lives of students in an important way,” Oerther said. “I would like to see Senate be proactive in the community.

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