Senior Amanda Look, senator of the senior apartments Tompkins and Exec, has been a senator throughout her four years at Knox. She describes how senate has gone from imposing to inviting; an improvement that she hopes shows that senate has evolved.
“When I first joined as a freshmen, senate had a threatening or intimidating nature to it,” said Look. She didn’t know Robert’s rule of order, which is the system senate uses to run the meetings, and the large lecture hall in SMC made it difficult to communicate and be involved.
“Now the dynamic of senate has changed. I feel I have more of a voice,” she said. The meetings are now centered on “collective wants, not just what the board wants.”
“When we were younger senate was focused on internal conflict. Now we’re mature, and Knox has matured, so we can let [internal conflict] go,” she said. Now senate is more focused on sustainability and “different ways we can work towards a goal,” she added. “We’re talking about things that are going to matter for years.”
The change in location from the lecture hall in SMC to the round room in CFA has also helped make senate a more collective atmosphere.
“There was a hierarchy formed” with the way senate was set up in SMC, with officers sitting in front and the senators stuck farther away from the president. The move to the round room has helped with structural problems … I like that [the round room] is a more intimate setting,” said Look, commenting on how the officers are now mixed with the senators and closer together.
Look has seen an increase in student involvement with senate but wants to see more, believing that senators need to be more motivated in getting their constituents involved. She believes “all people are satisfied with what senate does.”