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Prospective senators spark high hopes from senate

File photo.
File photo.

Under the leadership of executive team David Kuenzi and Alicia Smit, student senate has high expectations for this year’s prospective freshmen senators.

With less than a week left until the application deadline, student senate has already sent out 50 applications to prospective applicants who will compete for three open positions. The number of applications this year far exceeds last year, which saw 30 applications sent out and 18 received. In a statement to Chimes, Jerry Grieser, vice president of public relations, said he expects 30 applications to be received this year.

Both Grieser and Executive Vice President Alicia Smit recognized the high level of interest this year while emphasizing their anticipation for this year’s prospective applicants.

“Jerry and I were at every passport this year and we were very impressed by a lot of freshmen,” said Smit. “This class has a ton of potential and enthusiasm for senate. It will be a very difficult process.”

“There are a lot of students who were student council presidents, class presidents or who were just very involved in high school that have shown interest,” added Grieser.

For an application to be accepted, prospective applicants are required to fill out an application packet and collect 100 signatures from their fellow students. Applicants will then go through a three-stage selection process which involves one round of paper cuts, individual interviews and finally a unique group interview on Sept. 12.

Unlike typical appointments, freshmen senators will not be chosen via an election process. Instead, Smit has underlined the significance of signature collection for this round of appointments.

“The signatures replace the typical voting process because running as a freshman would be difficult considering the fact that you’re brand new to the school,” said Smit.

Smit also expressed how participation in senate functions is an invaluable opportunity for incoming students.“This has been an awesome way to learn more about Calvin and get involved, so I can only imagine as a freshman, it’s a great way to get plugged into an organization or a club.”

Joining senate also potentially allows students to meet with similar-minded peers. “It is the perfect organization if you want to have a close-knit group of people who are all highly driven and want to serve the students while learning a lot about Calvin,” said Smit.

According to Smit, student senate is looking for students who primarily enjoy serving, are highly-motivated and have good problem-solving skills.

“I look to how students handle problems and relationships and working with other people; we want team players,” said Smit.

As a representative in student senate, one can expect a time commitment of five to seven hours a week. Senators are also required to attend weekly meetings where senators are grouped into two teams of five to focus on proposed projects.

“In two weeks we will be having our brainstorming session where we decide what projects we want to do this year, and freshmen senators will help work on those types of projects,” said Smit.

Applications will be accepted until Sept. 9. For more information visit calvinsenate.com or contact Alicia Smit at senatevp@calvin.edu to get an application.

About the Author

Alden Hartopo

Alden Hartopo is the Chimes campus news co-editor for the 2013-14 school year. He is a junior from Jakarta, Indonesia studying International Relations and Economics. He believes that all forms of journalism function as an indispensable third party to facilitate communication, transparency and dialogue for students, faculty and staff.

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