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Student Senate president enthusiastic about duties

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Berniz Constanza, Student Senate President

One would be hard-pressed to find a more involved and enthusiastic Student Senate president than Berniz Constanza. Though she estimates her weekly time put into managing the activities of Calvin's student representative body at more than double the ten hours per week she is paid for, Constanza isn't complaining a bit. "I would do this even if I didn't get paid," she said.

Constanza, who was born in Guatemala and grew up in Cerritos, Calif., was first introduced to Calvin when a youth pastor she knew encouraged her to apply for Entrada. She took his advice and participated in the program, but the summer after she graduated from high school, said Constanza, "I was planning to go to a community college, live in an apartment and live my own life."

However, Calvin's financial aid package combined with a generous offer from a Calvin alum in the Cerritos area gave Constanza cause for some prayerful reconsidering.

"I love Calvin now," she said. "It was God; it was a miracle that brought me here."

Student Senate president is just the next step in a long progression of leadership posts for Constanza. She was involved in clubs and student organizations throughout high school, and at Calvin she's been a Multicultural Student Activities Coordinator, a member of the Homecoming committee, dorm president of Kalsbeek-Huizenga and a student senator.

"People have different gifts," she said. "I like to help people bring them out and use them—I love it, actually."

In addition to leading Student Senate meetings, being a general resource to the student senators and writing a weekly update in the Chimes, Constanza's presidential duties include being the only student on Calvin's Planning and Priorities Committee and being a member of the Student Discipline Committee. She also worked with the National Christian Multicultural Student Leaders Conference (NCMSLC), which took place on Calvin's campus Nov. 8-11.

Constanza will graduate from Calvin this year with an interdisciplinary major in business and recreation, and hopes to eventually get her MBA. She dreams of someday owning her own restaurant.

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