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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Excitement grows as Community Senate develops new agenda

Clerk/President of Community Senate Yahya Alazrak leads the first Senate meeting of the year. (David Kinchen)

On Aug. 31, Community Senate met for the first time this semester to develop their agenda for the year.

The meeting began with senior and Clerk/President of Community Senate Yahya Alazrak explaining to newcomers how Community Senate functioned. Alazrak stressed Senate’s commitment to community participation this year.

Alazrak then allowed Steering Committee and other students in attendance to introduce themselves.

Members from last year explained ongoing projects such as finalizing the social honor code and modifying the Community Center.

There is a great deal of excitement within Senate over the social honor code. The code attempts to define what Guilford College embodies as an institution while embracing diversity, equality, and peace among the Guilford community.

“The social honor code is something I care a lot about,” said junior and Diversity Action Chair Tim Leisman.

The only thing that makes Leisman nervous about this year is how the administration may react to “students challenging the status quo.”

He said that there is a question of what will happen if the social honor code conflicts with Campus Life.

“As long as we stick to representing the students, we can’t go wrong,” Leisman said.

The meeting then welcomed attendees to openly express any further concerns. Some of these concerns included cleaning up the lake, campus safety, getting a pool, and the wireless Internet speed.

Those present were invited to place dots next to their top five concerns in a process termed “dotmocracy.” The items with the most dots will help form Senate’s agenda.

“I really liked the amount of student input that we got and I think we got a good pulse on what people want to see get done on this campus,” Alazrak said. “I think that is fantastic.”

“Yahya did a good job clerking in his first official meeting,” said senior and Inter-Club Council Chair Elijah DaCosta.

Senate also announced that they will use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to try to draw more attention to their meetings.

“Transparency is what people want,” said junior and Communications and Campus Life Chair Paula Skandis.

Skandis did not think these outlets were used enough to build communication last year.

There is also a commitment to getting clubs more involved.

“I would like to see clubs feel more comfortable coming to Senate,” said DaCosta. “Telling us what they want, and asking what they can do better to reach continued standards of excellence.”

DaCosta also commented on possible challenges that will be facing Community Senate this year.

“Every year there are a lot of people that feel that Community Senate does not represent them,” DaCosta said. “One of the challenges we’ll have this year is reaching out to everyone and making sure they’re all heard, because that is really hard.”

In spite of what challenges may lie ahead, Director of Student Leadership and Engagement Erin Fox has high hopes that people will feel like they have something to share, get involved, and participate in Senate this year.

“Everybody seems to have good energy,” said Fox. “It seems like it is going to be a very busy year, but very positive.”

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