As a second-year senator, Mike Giese benefits from an expanded perspective on past Senate issues and discussion, and has some interesting opinions on how the Senate works.
“I think that half the people who are there, it’s because they need something to do, and it looks good on a resume,” Giese said. “A lot of the things I usually agree with end up going my way. There are times when I’ll speak up when I have a concern, but for the most part I don’t think we’re doing anything too bad or too horrible.”
Having not been a senator for some years before running greatly influenced Giese’s decision to join student government.
“Originally I ran because I needed something else to do,” Giese said. “As a junior, I’d read the Senate minutes because I’m a dork like that, and I wasn’t on Senate, and I’d think, ‘This is stupid, why are they doing that?’ I feel like you can’t complain about it unless you do something to change it yourself. So when I had the time to do it, I decided I’d run for Senate. It was mostly because I wanted to be able to complain about things that I didn’t like, and hopefully change the things I was going to complain about.”
The differences from past Senates are instructive to Giese in how this year’s chamber runs.
“We haven’t done that much,” Giese said. “Compared to last year, when we were passing bills all the time, having huge debates, we were there till 9 o’clock… this year, we didn’t even have senate a couple of weeks ago. There was nothing to do.”
Gieze tries to keep busy. As a member of the Safety and Services Committee, he has tackled the issues of vandalism, security cameras, and condoms.
“I’m on the Safety and Services Committee,” Giese said. “It’s an interesting committee. We’re not really doing anything right now, but last year and the beginning of this year we were dealing with a lot of issues…Someday, there will be condom machines on campus. Maybe before [the sophomore class] graduates. We have condom machines. They exist on campus; we just don’t have the right parts to make them work.”
As he, like many other seniors, looks at the last remaining term with mild trepidation, Giese still finds time to focus on the small things.
“I would really like to see the condom machines up,” Giese said. “That’s an issue of pride. We did it last year, it should have been done, and it’s not.”