Samples to take office as speaker

Zach Samples, a freshman history major, is the Student Senate Speaker-elect for the upcoming school year after he was elected Wednesday.

Samples said he is ready to make the presence of senate more prominent on campus.

“The organization needs somebody that still has a lot of time left at Eastern so that we can continue to bring long lasting change to (the senate),” Samples said.

The low senate meeting attendance is one concern Samples said he has.

A lot of schools have a lot of registered student organizations requirement similar to Eastern’s student government but the RSOs also had to come and report to the student government, Samples said.

“I like that idea- it’s collaborative- we represent RSOs why don’t RSOs represent us,” Samples said.

Samples also said he wants to incorporate two of his ideas to his term of office.

Samples’ first idea is a “constituency requirement” where senate members have to meet and talk with a certain number of Eastern students each week, then report their findings during senate meetings.

“We always talk about how we need to get out to the students more but nobody ever does it,” Samples said. “By requiring it, it will definitely get done.”

Another program will be a Student Senate mentorship program, which will entail new senate members being mentored by veteran senate members, Samples said.

“This is taking people that are already interested and already a part of the organization and training them,” Samples said.

The mentorship program will continue throughout the semester.

According to Samples, there are currently six open senate seats, and he said he plans on filling those seats right way.

“We will also meet with RSOs and other organizations on campus to kind of rally the troops,” he said.

Samples said he wants to focus on getting a wider representation of the student body on the senate.

“I think we focus too much on just going to Greeks, which is great they can be great leaders but we need to diversify,” Samples said.

Senate members are already have a two-hour ‘diversity requirement’ where they have to attend, coordinate or promote diverse campus programs, according to the Student Senate bylaws.

“We haven’t put a big enough focus on it,” he said.

Because the senate bylaws give the diversity affairs committee chairperson full control over the requirement Samples said he plans on working with whomever he appoints for the position.

Samples, one of the three-senate members who wrote this semester’s parking change resolution, said he plans on passing the information he gathered onto other senate members.

As the speaker or an executive member, it is hard to focus on such a big issue when they have to do other things, Samples said.

“We are still going to focus on it, it is just going to be in a different way,” Samples said.

Samples said he is nervous to be taking such a big position on his sophomore year.

“I’m nervous but confident,” Samples said.

The student executive members this year did a lot, but they are being replaced by people just as committed to their positions and Eastern as they are, Sample said.

“The people that are leaving have been strong and effective leaders on student government but they are being replaced by equally qualified people,” Samples said.

Nike Ogunbodede can be reached at 581-2812 or[email protected]