While it is well understood that a majority of the student body pays little attention to the Student Assembly Senate, in Friday’s issue, The Flat Hat’s Staff Editorial made a very important point: the senate does matter to students. But if this is the case, then why would an editorial title such as “Student Senate grows increasingly irrelevant” be necessary for The Flat Hat to print at the same time? The answer to this question is two-fold.
p. First (as stated), the senate is very passionate about the processes of government. As a result, the public (via campus press reporting) is presented with events that would seem childish for a student assembly to execute, and in most cases I would certainly agree. However, such events (although important to note) are quite uncommon given the length of time and effort that the body operates in totality beyond the meetings in which these events may occur.
p. The second answer to this question can be found within the way the campus press, including The Flat Hat, has been reporting on the senate. By solely focusing on the proceedings of senate meetings, the campus press and subsequently the public have been unable to witness the great progress that senators have made around campus. The Flat Hat understands this and it must be commended on its new approach of looking at how proposed and passed bills will impact students rather than just reporting on the weekly procedural meetings to gauge the SA Senate’s progress.
p. When such an approach is taken, I believe the public will truly see how much progress has actually been made by senators. When health violations were reported at the University Center, Sen. Fitzgerald, a senior, brought hand sanitizers to all of our college’s cafeterias. As our energy consumption and cost on campus continues to escalate, Sen. Pilchen, a sophomore, continues to be a major advocate for change in saving both our environment and money.
p. When it comes to finding increasingly better ways for the SA (and not just the senate) to work together as a body for the students, Senate Chair Luppino-Esposito, a junior, and Senate Secretary Matt Beato, a sophomore, have been and continue to be instrumental. When problems arose from students not being able to receive weekend help at the Health Center, Sen. Walter McClean, a sophomore, and Sen. Sarah Rojas, a freshman, worked diligently to see that students have such access.
p. As for myself and Sen. Scott Morris, a freshman, we have also dedicated countless hours to serving the student body. We have eliminated the $5 fee students paid in the past as a result of a stolen ID, amassed a cause and referendum where on March 29 students will be able to vote if they want cheaper laundry costs, empowered our college’s Hall Councils by working to eliminate the ability for Residence Life to charge students punitive fees and continued to work with Facilities Management to pave the numerous mud pathways on new campus that have proven dangerous to some students. Also, let us not forget that the effort to bring back Medical Amnesty during alcohol-related emergencies also emerged in the senate.
p. All of these accomplishments have happened just this year alone. When it comes down to it, the student body would suffer a great loss if the SA Senate ceased to function. It has been said by many that the senate is the greatest forum of ideas on campus, and although we have our juvenile moments every so often, the students should not forget that the senate has and will continue to serve them well.
p. __Andrew Blasi, a Student Assembly senator, is a freshman at the College.__