In her first year as a student senator, sophomore Nea Larson is among many senators seeking to better represent their constituents’ wishes.
“I never felt represented last year,” Larson said. “Last year, the senators who represented my district– the quads – didn’t really ask our opinions and just kind of ignored us, so I felt I could really make a change, especially since I knew a lot of people in the townhouses, and they’ve been coming up to me a lot lately with charges, and I’ve been working hard to help them with that.”
Even with her push to achieve the goals her constituents want, Larson knows that more needs to be done by all senators.
“I think that [constituent representation] is an issue in Senate,” Larson said, “and I try to work with that. I think it’s important that people on Senate have views that reflect other people’s views, but I think there are so many different views of people on Knox campus that we need to draw them out. People in Senate have opinions that are relevant, but we also need to hear from everyone else. [Student Senate President] Elaine Wilson is trying to push [greater constituent communication], which I think is a really good thing to do.”
Larson works to get things done as a member of the Residential Quality of Life committee.
“We’ve been working all year on gender-neutral housing,” Larson said, “so we’re really happy that it finally was passed as a resolution last night. We’re still working on basic things like [the assignment process]. We’ve based what we’re planning off of other schools’ gender-neutral housing applications, which says that you can choose male, female, or don’t care for the gender of the other roommate. The other person has to have the exact same preference.”
Larson continues to work on issues that concern her constituents, and is laying groundwork for future action, as well.
“We’ve been trying to do things like drop heating costs in the dorms by improving the window insulation and regulating the temperature of each dorm individually,” Larson said, “because in the Quads there are people who say their rooms are too hot, others who say they’re too cold. The problem with that is that with the economy and the way that we’re planning the college’s budget, they’re not taking any action with that now. So what right now our committee’s doing …. we want this done, we know it can’t get done now, but we want it to be done in the future.”