Eastern’s Student Senate welcomed 30 members Wednesday during its first meeting of the semester in the Arcola-Tuscola Room of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.
The members in attendance were both new and returning students, including graduate and transfers.
The meeting was ran as more of an orientation for the new combination of members. The executive board split the senators into three groups where they discussed how senate operates during meetings, rules and legislation, how to dress appropriately and outreach.
The senators went around the room introducing themselves and explaining why they chose to get involved.
Junior communications major Keith Teague was the president of the Black Student Association at Lewis & Clark Community College before transferring to Eastern.
“I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and to be a voice for those students who really don’t have a voice. Just make the college a better place,” Teague said.
He said he would like to move up and become an executive member of the senate.
Student body president Shirmeen Ahmad said she was influenced to join senate by the noticeable force student government had at Eastern.
“I felt the power of student government all over campus,” Ahmad said. “They were doing things and making a difference on campus. I wanted to be one of those people to actually get involved and help make that difference.”
Ahmad said sometimes the differences made are sometimes beneficial to students even when they do not realize it.
The newest members are expected to still be confused with the process of senate this early in the semester Ahmad said, but she was happy with the way orientation played out Wednesday evening.
“We’ve kind of tried to ignite the passion today,” Ahmed said. “We chose the senators that are going to work and going to be accountable, and have that light seeing Eastern for what it can be, not what it’s missing.”
She said it was exciting to see the new members who seemed eager to get involved more that just being a member of student senate.
She said a collective goal of the senate is to get the name of student government out more by accomplishing as much as possible.
Ahmed thinks it is important for the senate to be very active given the state of the university.
“We’re going to start being a force on campus,” Ahmed said. “Things happen out of our control, but that doesn’t mean we can’t play a part in them.”
The senators will be sworn in when the senate next meets September 9 at 7 p.m.
Jehad Abbed can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]