In order to increase the communication between Senate and the students and organizations it represents, I’d like to create two separate forums between our community and the Chamber. First, a monthly Senate Forum where all student organizations are represented. This is a time for discussion on what student organizations are experiencing and having problems with, a time to discuss how Senate can better support its organizations. This is also the opportunity to build bridges between organizations that may normally not cross paths. The more connections we make across campus, the better our events and education will become. Second, I would create a semesterly or bi-semesterly student forum. This would be time set aside in the Forum or Theater in Hughes Trigg where our entire community can come together and have discussions in a less formal setting than the Speaker’s Podium during Chamber. This would be a time to discuss issues student on campus may be facing. How is your community being affected by certain factors? What is the Student Senate doing right or wrong? What can we do better or differently? This is an opportunity to begin breaking down the communication barrier that seems to be in between the students and its representation. I want to make sure every student’s voice has the opportunity to be heard and valued. I want every SMU student to have the opportunity to work with Senate.
Collaborative SMU Values Week
Values Week was an initiative that I witnessed take shape as Secretary in the 102nd Student Senate under President Carlton Adams. The week splits our Values Statement in pieces and takes one day each week to focus on each part. During the day events are held to highlight that part of the statement and offices on campus that may work within that section of values. I immediately saw the potential good it could bring to campus.
One of my goals during my term would be to see the successful implementation of a new SMU Values Week, which I have been working towards over the past semester. I have been meeting with other student leaders on campus to brainstorm this new Values Week that would involve members from all of our different communities across campus. The goal is for this project to be collaborative so that every community has the opportunity participate and be represented. Organizations on campus will have the opportunity to partner and put on events together during the week to engage students in a way that was not possible the last Values Week. Hopefully, through the continued planning this semester and into next, we can put on Values Week during the first six weeks of school, and help First Year students see the diversity we have and the values we maintain as students.
Student Concerns Committee Reform
After working with the Chair of the Student Concerns Committee this past year, I see that our Student Concerns Committee needs reform. Student Concerns Committee works on any and all student concerns, the problem is that often senators are working on things the Committee is also. Other times the Committee doesn’t want to interfere with senators’ work. With next year’s Student Concerns Chair, I would like to review the functionality of the committee and how we can make it more efficient for the Committee as well as the Chamber. The Student Concerns Committee is an enormous asset to the senators, and vice versa. I want to see the Student Concerns Committee at its peak performance, so that we as a chamber can better serve you.
At the end of the day, everything we do in Senate is about you, the student. Therefore, I want to assure you that as President I would implement a servant leadership style to guide the Chamber. I want to bridge the communication gap that has grown over the past few years between the students and the Chamber. I want to see more involvement on our end in the activities of students and their organizations on campus. I want to see our senators wearing their nametags so that they can be identified and approached with any comments, suggestions, or concerns you have for us. I will hold open office hours for the entire student body so that I am available to you not just through an email. I want to hear the issues you are facing on campus and how I can help fix them. I want to serve you in whatever capacity that may be. I promise to go above and beyond the traditional role as President to be as present and available to all students on campus at all times. I want to fully devote my remaining time in the Chamber to you and be your servant in making our experience the best it can be.