Student Senate swears in 7 new senators


Robert Le Cates

Student Senate Speaker Jasmine Yusef, a senior English major, announces the committees senators are on during the Senate’s first meeting on Sept. 7 in the Arcola Room at the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union on the Eastern Illinois University campus in Charleston, Ill.

Katja Benz, Campus Reporter

The Student Senate barely met quorum at their first official meeting of the school year on Wednesday night.

The senate requires 15 senators to meet quorum, which they met 13 minutes into the meeting. 

If the senate is unable to meet quorum, they cannot approve the agenda for the meeting as it would not be an official senate meeting.

After meeting quorum, seven senators were sworn into the senate.

Amberly McDonnell, a senior engineering technology major, was one of the new senators appointed.

McDonnell says that her biggest goal for the senate is to make all Eastern students feel heard.

“(A goal that I have is to) just make sure that all the concerns that the students have are addressed,” McDonnell said. “(If) there’s an issue that’s brought up, and it’s found a way to be solved, whether it’s positively or negatively. I want everybody to be able to feel like they can address concerns because they are going to school here. It should feel like a home away from home.”

Jasmine Yusef, a senior English and philosophy double major and speaker of the senate, says that the meeting went smoothly for the first senate meeting of the semester.

“I was really impressed with our newly appointed senators and their timeliness,” Yusef said. “We were really close to hitting quorum. I had already heard earlier in the day that we had some sick calls, so I didn’t think we were going to make quorum. But thankfully, we ended up scraping by and having enough senators, so that we could actually appoint those new senators and get things done.”

Ceci Brinker, director of student life and advisor to the student government, says that there is a lot to do, but she is proud of the work that the senate accomplished last school year.

“I’m very proud of the accomplishments of the work of the student government,” Brinker said. “I felt like they ended on a very high note and a very strong note at the end of the school year, but obviously, they need student representatives and student leaders to join in order to continue that work. And that’s a challenge for all of our student organizations coming out of COVID. If you look at the Greek system, if you look at the Res Life systems, Student Government isn’t that much different with the challenge of outreach and recruitment. I feel like they’re doing a really good job doing that because they had a student government outreach week that filled those positions. They recruited at Patherpalooza, they’re doing some outreach, ongoing outreach for tabling events. So I think once they get their numbers up, it’s really exciting to see the new senators that have joined. But as Jasmine pointed out, she’s not going to settle for just reaching quorum. They want to get to the point where they have a solid group of student representatives and a very diverse group that can really do the work of the student body and represent the student body well into this next year.”

Yusef, who’s term as speaker ends in December, says that for the year, she hopes that the senate’s visibility increases and agrees with Brinker.

“Well, I definitely want our visibility (to increase),” Yusef said. “I’ve always been working on visibility, Student Government kind of getting out there and letting the student body know that we’re their voice or we’re trying to be representative of their voice. But it’s hard to do that when they don’t really know what Student Government does, or how we’re here to help. So I definitely want to do more ‘Senate On the Go’ events that are in your face Student Government meetings where you can stop by and come and see what we do. And if you’re interested you can even join.”


Katja Benz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].