Senate Social seeks student understanding, involvement

Julia Battishill

On Friday, Oct. 19, senate held the “Senate Sundae Social.” The attending senators sat at a table excited, ready to hand out ice cream and talk with students about ASSP.

According to several of the senators, the social was intended to inform students about the function of senate and help them get in contact with senators. They hoped that the social would help more students get involved with and interested in ASSP.

Liam Smith, along with several other senators such as Senator at Large Alonso Ramirez, sat patiently at the desk, encouraging students to stop by, enter a gift card raffle and learn more about senate.

Ramirez was ready to share about ASSP and his position. He was enthusiastically calling for passing students to stop by the table, his naturally exuberant personality drawing in new faces to say hello.

Both Ramirez and Smith are clearly passionate about their positions, and they shared their positions and the jobs that those entail with enthusiasm.

Ramirez, as a senator at large, has a variation of unique duties that many other senators do not claim.

“As a senator at large, I represent the entire student body. … We look at different issues that concern the whole student body as well as individual schools,” Ramirez said.

“We really work to kind of help the other senators with things regarding their constituency, as our constituencies overlap. We also take a look at different things throughout the constitution, just making sure every student can have the best college experience possible”

Meanwhile, Smith, as an Arnett Hall senator, has more localized duties.

“As representative for Arnett Hall, I represent the students who live [there],” explained Smith. “I represent a diverse pool of students. … They all have a unique voice to bring to the table, and I do my best to listen to each of them.”

However, if asked, many students could not have told you that. In fact, many cannot even recall what the general roles of senate and ASSP are at all. This disconnect was the ultimate motivation to put on the social: to close the gap between the student body and ASSP, and to teach campus about the roles that they play in our everyday lives.

Senate and ASSP have important influence on campus policy, events, funding and more. But most students do not have any idea how they could learn more or get involved, and ASSP hoped to change that with this event.

“I think that a social is important because we’re here to represent students, we want to be intentional about representing the student body, so being able to be here in the [Student Union Building] … we can really focus on engaging the students where they’re at and hearing the issues they’re concerned about,” Smith said.

Going forward, ASSP has exciting plans for the year. They are poised and ready to make big changes and hopefully improve the college experience for all SPU students.

Ramirez explained that one important part of his job is approving budgets for events, which can have a positive impact on students.

He is particularly excited about a recent budget that he and the other Senator at Large approved to sell 100 Sounders tickets at the UniCom Desk.

ASSP also plans to emphasize their role on campus, and help more students learn about what ASSP is and what it does.

These were the Senate goals expressed by both Ramirez and Smith: to be beneficial in the lives of all SPU students, to make changes when necessary in order to improve the things that hinder a positive college experience, and to help students understand ASSP.

They are focused on being a more visible, accessible entity than they have been in years past.

“The goal for senate is to really raise awareness about ASSP and what it actually is,” Ramirez said. “The student leaders that work to make the college experience better for everyone else. The tedious work that is often behind the scenes.”

Smith agreed with his colleague, and stated that his vision and the vision of senate going forward is one of progress and positive change.

“I think that this year has the potential to be a pivotal change in how ASSP is viewed on campus, and the opportunities that we have to make changes across campus, from the constitutional crisis to engaging social change.”