Student Senate expects more from students
Student Senate passes stricter attendance policy
Grand Valley State University’s Student Senate passed a resolution to change a policy in its Resources Policies and Procedures at its Thursday meeting. The change puts stricter requirements on student senators’ attendance at faculty committee meetings.
The policy focuses on making sure senators who hold seats on the University Governance Committees are attending and engaging in all of those meetings, but it does not affect the attendance of senators at the weekly general assembly meetings.
If there is some type of emergency preventing students from making a meeting, they must first notify Vice President of the Student Resources Committee Danielle Mierow, as well as the faculty chair of their committee, to have the absence excused.
Meirow said that since last year, when the Student Senate cabinet realized students could have a larger voice with the University Governance Committees, it really started pushing for senators to take advantage of the seats, but no policy was enforced.
“Having something to hold them to it and make it more official will make students feel obliged to attend the meetings,” she said.
Now that the attendance policy is in place, Mierow expects students to be more serious about their roles on standing committees.
If a student doesn’t notify the vice president of the SRC and the faculty chair of the standing committee before missing a meeting, the student will be removed from the position and another senator will fill in.
Student senators are allowed one excused absence from committee meetings; more than one absence will also result in removal from the position.
Students will also be required to stay for the duration of all meetings unless they have made prior arrangements with the vice president of the SRC.
Since students have the right to vote on these committees, they’re also required to be “prepared, engaged, attentive and inquisitive,” according to the new policy. They will also be responsible for taking notes at the meetings.
Meirow said senators are taking their roles on the committees seriously this year, even though the attendance policy was just put into place last week.
“Everyone who has gone to their faculty committee has loved it,” she said, adding that there hasn’t been any issue with senators not being engaged in their committees so far this year.
The attendance policy was originally presented to the senate at the Sept. 24 meeting. Because it was only the first time many senate members had seen the amendment, it was not passed immediately.
The policy was slightly revised following initial discussions, and it passed Thursday without any opposition.