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Are You Interested in Student Senate?
Being on the Student Senate this past year has been one of the biggest blessings during my time at Covenant, and the things that I have learned will stick with me for a long time. It’s a great way to get connected with people on this campus you wouldn’t have otherwise, form solid team building and organizational expertise, and learn other important life skills and responsibilities — it also looks really great on a resumé. Oh, and did I mention that the positions are paid? If you’re looking at Covenant College, consider if you would want to run for Student Senate in your time as a Scot.
Student Senate is a group of fifteen students elected by the student body to serve the Covenant community by ensuring that students have a voice in matters that directly or indirectly impact student life, through means of advocating for their respective constituencies at weekly Student Senate meetings. The duty of senators is multi-faceted because they primarily serve through two means: advocacy and stewardship.
The senators function as advocates in the sense that they are a bridge between various departments and the student body. Senators do their jobs properly when they speak for the group of people that elected them and when they act as impartial and unbiased representatives, taking into account all views and listening to all voices. Student Senate creates many opportunities to amplify these voices by frequently inviting guests to their meetings from various college departments, including the Chapel Department, Food Services, and Student Development, in an effort to provide an open dialogue with students. This advocacy is crucial because it promotes a streamline of information going two ways: making students aware of what is going on behind the scenes and informing faculty and staff about college needs from a student’s perspective.
Senators also function as stewards. Each semester, all students pay a student fee as part of their tuition and the senate oversees the spending of a portion of this fee by gathering it into what is referred to as the SACC fund. This fund goes towards various campus events including CAB events (SK80’s, Kilter, etc.), building events (Carter Christmas, Mac Movie, etc.), class events (Senior Social, etc.), and student-led clubs.
It is a necessary responsibility of Student Senate to put these funds where students want to see them go. After all, it’s the students who are footing the bill. These funds also go toward student publications such as The Bagpipe, The Thorn, and The Tartan. Senate makes the call to steward funds on a campus-wide scale and seeks to spend this money where students want to see that money spent.
If stewardship means to care well for something one has been given, Student Senate recognizes rest as a gift we are definitely called to steward, especially because rest is an important part of being a human. God gives us good gifts like rest, community, and even this unique college experience. Senators take the charge to serve campus by providing opportunities to steward these gifts well.
Senate consists of students who know that it is necessary to care well for ourselves outside of classes by taking the time to live and appreciate life, spend good time with friends, and find rest and leisure doing the things we enjoy. It is also important to recognize that neglecting the rest we are called to can have serious ramifications for our health; mental, social, emotional, and spiritual.
Whether it be a night with other students and friends at a roller skating rink, decked out in apparel reminiscent of the 1980’s, or a small get-together with like-minded individuals reading poetry and eating snacks, Student Senate seeks to provide opportunities for rest in as many avenues as students need. For instance, if students desire this rest with a donut club sponsored by Student Senate, it is the duty of the senators to hear them out and do their best to make it happen.
While this is the ultimate goal of all senators serving together as a whole, each individual member also serves in a particular way. The residence hall presidents serve as advocates by representing their respective residence halls and being receptive and responsive to the residents’ desires. They steward by planning events for their buildings both to serve their respective halls as well as the greater Covenant community. Class presidents steward by planning events unique to their classes that focus on spiritual growth or professional development, but also always ensuring a good time. They advocate by voicing the concerns of those in their respective class, as well as the clubs that fall under their constituencies and speaking on behalf of those clubs at senate meetings.
Student Senate is one great way to grow and serve at Covenant. If you join us on the mountain, consider running for a senate position.
A similar version of this article originally appeared in the Feb. 25, 2022 issue of The Bagpipe.