President-elect Barack Obama is learning what his new job entails, but TJC Student Senate President Taylor Jett already has four months under her belt.
Student Senate is the elected governing body that speaks on behalf of students and communicates issues to the administration
Jett is unlike a regular full-time student because she goes to class 12 hours per week, works 15 hours per work at her on-campus job and spends more than 20 hours per week fulfilling her Student Senate responsibilities.
“Student Senate teaches life skills that you cannot learn in the class room,” Jett said.
Jett’s responsibilities include presiding over meetings, making sure everyone is there, signing paperwork if another club wants to be recognized, chairing Student Services Fee Advisor Committee (SSFAC), and being involved with the Strategic Planning Committee (which is where the board wants TJC to be in 3 years). They are available if students have any problems at school.
Student Senate also has three chair positions, which makeup academic affairs, and they are involved with tuition and getting more resources on campus. Also, academic affairs is trying to get computers in the student center so the students will be able to register for classes, check apache access, and whatever else they need help with for educational purposes.
Next are the student affairs positions who help with parking and getting more parking closer to campus for students. Academic affairs also deals with problems if student want to see a change.
Policy and Procedures is the last committee, and they are involved with the rules and making sure students follow them. They are students that want to see a change in policy.
“All three of these positions work together and make TJC better,” Jett said.
“The decisions that the Student Senate make are for the best of student life and students get what they need and not necessarily want,” Vincent Nguyen, Interim Director of the Center for Student Life and Involvement,said.
There are 36 representatives from different clubs on TJC campus. Around 70-80 people attend meetings, which are held every Tuesday starting at 4 p.m. at the White Administration service building except for the first Tuesday of every month, which are held in the apaches rooms.
“Student Senate offers leadership opportunities and gives me tools to succeed, not only here but beyond Tyler Junior College,” said Matt Sneed, TJC Student Senate Spokesperson, said.
Anyone can be involved and help with Student Senate but the officers have to be full-time students.
“The best thing about being involved in Student Senate is free T-shirts, scholarships, life-learning experiences, meeting new people, looks good on resumes, opens a lot of opportunities for transferring, teaches life principles and work on deadline planning,” secretary Travis Smith, said.
Student Senate responsibilities include the traditional programming on campus, Welcome Week, Homecoming Week, Exam Breakers, and Spring Fling.
They also tackle governmental issues like recycling on campus, tuition and any issue dealing with education on campus.
“Students should get involved because it makes life in college more fun. They will learn life skills and be able to interact with other peers,” Nguyen said.
The officers of Student Senate include: President Taylor Jett; Vice President Maria G. Cruces; Secretary Travis Smith; Sophomore Vice President Carole Kiphen; Freshmen President Justin Yordy; Freshmen Vice President Maria T. Cruces; Freshmen Secretary Tara Johnston; Spokesperson Matt Sneed; Sergeants of Arms Aaron Kelver and Zarrick Cannon.
“It’s difficult juggling Student Senate responsibilities and school work. You really have to want to be a part of something and do well in school,” Jett said.