Senior senator Beth Beadle is one of a handful of students on campus that can boast a long-term commitment to student government as a four-year Student Senator.
“I came to Knox to be political science major. I didn’t run because I wanted to be a political science major,” Beadle said. “I ran because I am interested in politics and I’m interested in government, so I have a natural interest to be involved in any kind of government body. It’s something I’m drawn to.”
The experience she has gained through her participation has greatly affected her college career.
“I made some of my closest friends in Student Senate, to be quite honest,” Beadle said. “It’s a great organization of people. You may not always agree with them, but you definitely learn a lot of different perspectives. You learn how to operate in groups. You learn how to get things done with large amounts of people. You learn how to present yourself and how to talk to everyone. It’s a great learning experience for one, and I made a lot of friends.”
Sitting through four years of Senate meetings has given her a unique perspective on the recent history of campus.
“[An issue three years ago was] when Model UN was trying to go to Canada for a conference. Montreal,” Beadle said. “That was a fairly big issue my freshman year […] Freshman year in general, the biggest question was how were the funds allocated in Student Senate and were they allocated fairly, which really is always a point of contention. The main point there was are we allocating too much money to individual people.”
Some things current senators take for granted have not always been used they way they are now.
“My sophomore year I believe, they introduced, kind of late into term, the ability to end the speaker’s list […] That wasn’t a very well known tool prior to my sophomore year,” Beadle said. “People didn’t use it very well, so you can imagine how long a discussion would go on an issue that might seem kind of trivial because anybody and their brother could keep talking just because they wanted to.”
The adage that ‘those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it’ rings true, even only over the short span of four years.
“Theme housing was always a contentious issue,” Beadle said. “Always was. But I don’t recall it being the same problem that it was this year.”
Despite contention and controversy, Beadle has gained valuable knowledge and experience from her service as a Knox College Student Senator.
“I’ve learned I’m not always right,” Beadle said. “I’ve learned I’m often wrong. I’ve learned to listen to what people say before I make some kind of snap judgment. There were many times that I wanted to assume that people like Brian Camozzi were wrong because often he and I disagreed on issues. I’m using him as an example, but I learned that I’m much better served if I just listen first and then evaluate it.”