By Irene Campos
Every Fall the Student Senate Officers are elected the student body with a majority vote The key word in that statement is elected. Yet, this spring of 2016, the students didn’t get a vote. Instead, the Student Senates were appointed.
The student senate officers who were appointed were: Abi Williams (Freshmen VP), Matthew Hughes (Sergeant At Arms), Alyson Herberger (Executive Secretary) and Chloe Cabrera (Ambassador of Organizations).
“When vacancies occur, we do appoint officers to fill those vacant positions,” said Lauren Tyler, the Director of Student Life and Senate Advisor, when asked why the Student Senates were appointed.
In the student handbook the Student Senate constitution allows an officer, like Tyler stated, to be appointed when positions are empty. “The former executive secretary and ambassador both graduated in December and transferred onto Universities.” Says Tyler in regards to the appointment of Alyson Herberger (Executive Secretary) and Chloe Cabrera (Ambassador of Organizations)
It’s no question that the Student Senates hold an ample amount of power acting as the “government” of the school. They are the people that students can take their complaints, concerns, or inquiries to have them heard. They can also make suggestions about what might be best for the students or what the students might enjoy. It’s their responsibility to make college life fun and enjoyable for the students. Especially those students who have traveled far away from their homes and families. Whom better to understand what a college student feels than another college student?
The reason colleges have Student Senates is to get a better understanding of what a student needs first hand. The reason these Student Senates are elected and not appointed is so that the student body feels they have a say, an idea of the people who are essentially going to be their higher voices as stated in the Preamble of the Student Senate Constitution on page 86:
We the students, of Tyler Junior College, in order to establish an official student government, promote the interests and opinions of the Student Body, enhance the quality and scope of education, undertake projects and programs beneficial to the student body and local community, and be the resounding voice of all students, do hereby ordain and establish this constitution for the Student Senate of Tyler Junior College.
When asked how he felt about this, Joshua Martinez, a freshman Kinesiology major, said, “Senates appointed to the job can’t exactly represent the student body. Because to really represent the student body, the students should get to have a say. It just makes sense.”
Some students have the same views Martinez does, but other students disagree. “The appointment of the Senate Officers, in my opinion as a fellow TJC student, was fine with me.”
The importance of the Student Senate shouldn’t be understated. They play a vital role in the function of TJC. The Student Senate is there to help students connect with the student community, to get them active in the organizations, and to give the students a wonderful experience in there time at TJC.