“Student Senate is such an important organization on campus, for student life, for everything,” Harned said. “You can effect a lot of positive change.”
Many of the issues he intends to tackle in the upcoming year involve close collaboration with the newly elected executive board, including advancements to the college’s sustainability initiatives. His interpretation of the role of President involves coordinating the strengths of others rather than advancing one agenda.
“My agenda for IT, as an example, is to support Dakota, to listen to what other people want, and then listen to the faculty, staff and administrators, and then go from there,” he said, referring to newly-elected Technology Chair sophomore Dakota Stipp.
Harned spoke about collaborating with the new Vice President, sophomore Tevin Liao, on an initiative already in the works to implement the use of card-technology rather than keys on campus.
Junior Alec Freytag, next year’s Health & Wellness Chair, expressed his confidence in Harned’s ability to take on the role of President.
“[Harned is the kind of person] you want to follow, someone that’s really charismatic and can get stuff done, and can really sit down and talk one-to-one with someone if something’s not going right,” Freytag said.
Harned also plans to focus on creating safe spaces on campus next year.
“If anyone feels unsafe on campus, [it’s] a huge problem,” he said.
Harned indicated his understanding that the term “unsafe” could be interpreted in many different ways, citing improvements like better lighting on campus as a means of helping students feel safer when walking home from parties.
He also touched on safety as it pertains to recent campus conversations about diversity and sexual assault, and indicated the importance of student safety in the classroom as well as outside of it.
“If I ever see somebody getting jumped or somebody ill, I need to help them. And that’s so small but…it extends to sexual assault, discrimination, racism, sexism on campus,” Harned said.
Regarding sexual assault, Harned spoke about the influential role Student Senate can play.
“Nobody is against stopping sexual assault on campus…So how come every person on campus doesn’t speak up? That’s the divide. And I think that’s the divide that [Student Senate] can work to bridge,” he said.
Freytag said that Harned’s, and all of Student Senate’s, job will be about finding equilibrium.
“[The] biggest challenge is just going to be trying to bring everyone together, and that’s one of [Harned’s] better strengths…Despite us having a very small campus, we have huge diversity within and it’s really hard to get everyone together to go for one plan,” Freytag said. “I think he can pull it off.”