Columns / Discourse / May 17, 2017

Discussing Student Senate (dis)qualifications

I ran for Chair of Health and Wellness Committee in the recent Student Senate Elections, but unfortunately my name never made it on the roster. I was sent the several emails telling us to run, signed up with my ballot statement and was able to participate in the Chair debates held on April 26.

However, it wasn’t until I emailed the Vice President of Student Senate the following afternoon that I was notified Senators aren’t allowed to run if they are planning to study abroad during their year of service.

I came across this policy on Knox’s website and brought it to their attention, and it bothers me that they let me run and campaign without communicating that qualification. I’d never considered participating in student government before now because of my general disinterest in politics, but I got excited at the opportunity to share some of the recent knowledge I gained about Health and Wellness resources both on campus and nearby in the Galesburg community. The Counseling and Disability Services here at Knox have been extremely helpful and referred me to the Department of Health and Human Services for attentive-disorder testing. We have so many resources available that I’d love for more students to know about, but I guess I’m not qualified. On Knox’s website, it says that Student Senate “serves as:

  • An open forum to debate a variety of campus issues
  • A platform to make suggestions for improvement on issues and long-standing policy
  • A place for students to ask for budget approvals for their clubs or for events they would like to bring to campus
  • A means to make the Knox campus more dependent on student thought, opinion, and actions”

I hope Senate will consider who is qualified to represent a committee in the future, as well as be more transparent with those needs and potential conflicts before the campaign process. They sent an email about when and where I could promote my campaign, but never asked how many terms I will be on campus next year. Does choosing to utilize a study abroad opportunity when it’s most affordable mean I cannot facilitate Health and Wellness needs during my term(s) on campus? I don’t think so, nor do I think should the few people interested in running for student government should be turned away.

I’m sure the Chair will do a great job next year, but an ideal leader of the Health and Wellness Committee will do their best to let Knox students know their options. College is a stressful time for everyone, and we should be encouraged to take advantage of the Counseling and Disability services, as well as be provided with access to information about nutrition, sexual health and testing services in the area and how to apply for health insurance — things we all need to know in order to maintain our long term physical, spiritual and mental well-being.

Tags:  column discourse Health and Wellness Chair Student Senate

Bookmark and Share

Previous Post
‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ provides opportunity for comedy
Next Post
Apple Strip: Anxiety as a toddler

You might also like

1 Comment

May 21, 2017

Yes, actually, it does mean you cannot facilitate health and wellness on campus if you are decidedly *not* on campus. That’s basic logic; how your entire “op-ed” is centered around being slighted by a lazy administration baffles me and concedes truths about your entitlement. Beyond that, it seems your main issue is that a school committee (Student Senate) with little to no oversight sends out mass emails soliciting members, and you did all the work *before* checking the requirements, or even checking your common sense (you’re not going to be on campus!). Everyone gets these emails because they are desperate for members. Student Senate is an underfunded, overly self important organization that basically begs people to run for positions, and you’re upset that they didn’t alert you to something that seems so obvious in the first place? It makes perfect sense why they wouldn’t vet every applicant: they NEED members. Why would they willingly try to turn away members for something they probably weren’t even looking for anyway? It seems incredibly self centered to be upset about this. It also doesn’t seem right to run for a political position if you don’t care about politics. How are you to spread health and wellness from across the country? continent? ocean? Do you believe you are far more qualified than the random person after you who wants to do it because they happened to see the email just like you and said “hell, why not?”? How can you actively participate and offer aid and assistance in these matters while you’ll have much more important things to attend to studying abroad? It seems inappropriate and inconsiderate that you would even apply for such a position knowing full well you did not plan on being here, whether or not others wanted to apply.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.