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Student senate appoints freshman senators

Photo courtesy student senate.
Photo courtesy student senate.

Freshmen Jonathan Manni, Hannah Biggs and Laura Steele joined student senate to represent their fellow students last Thursday after a rigorous application process. All three went through multiple interviews to achieve their new rank.

According to Connor Schmidt, a junior senate cabinet member, the candidates first filled out a paper application and gathered 100 signatures from fellow students. After a first round of cuts, the remaining candidates attended short interviews with the cabinet. Finally, the cabinet selected six applicants to move on to the final group interview. According to Schmidt, the final interview had multiple parts.

“The students were faced with mock situations to solve — budget crisis, funding, etc.,” Schmidt said. “They also worked together in pairs to interview each other.”

Schmidt said the cabinet closely evaluated the final candidates on their performance in the interview. “We were looking for candidates with strong leadership skills but a humble attitude,” he said. “We were looking for senators who had excellent interpersonal skills and were willing to work hard in order to better Calvin College.”

The new senators also commented on the intensity of the selection procedure. Biggs and Steele agreed that the hardest part of the interview process was the final interview. They split into teams of two, interviewed another team and were instructed to evaluate the other team’s performance.

“We had to analyze and critique other people’s strengths and weaknesses and report back to the panel [of cabinet members],” Biggs said.

The new senators had their own visions for student senate and its role in campus life.

“My vision for senate this year is that we would serve our community and our campus in ways that are relevant and effective,” Biggs said. Biggs said she and her fellow senators will work together to see this vision into reality.

Steele added to Biggs’ vision statement, specifically addressing the class of 2017.

“It’s also important to help the freshmen get settled,” said Steele. “This year’s student body is different than in past years, and [student] senate should act according to their needs and wants.”

Looking forward to a full academic year in office, the new senators expressed their excitement for the following year.

“I can’t wait to see our work affecting people in tangible ways,” Biggs said, smiling. Steele nodded her assent.

“I’m looking forward to helping students fall in love with Calvin and the great opportunities it has to offer,” she said.

After seeing them through the interview process, Schmidt said he is looking forward to working with the new senators.

“All of cabinet is beyond impressed with each of their skills, talents and attitudes,” he said. “They are beyond awesome and we are looking forward to seeing their contributions this upcoming year.”

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