Rachel Jenkin elected student senate president
Morgan Mattler named VP, other e-board positions filled
At the Grand Valley State University student senate general assembly Thursday, April 12, new cabinet members were elected from the body for the 2018-19 academic year.
Before the voting started, several GVSU students and senators voiced their support for different candidates during the public comment section of the general assembly.
By the end of the night, Rachel Jenkin, vice president of campus affairs from this academic year, was named the president-elect. Jenkin is focused on improving relations between senate and the student body and continuing the work accomplished by this year's senators.
“One of the big projects that I want to move forward with is getting a seat for a student senator at the Board of Trustees' table," Jenkin said. "Seventy percent of public universities have that seat, but Grand Valley for some reason does not. Also, I’m trying to encourage consistency in communication on our body. I think we have a really strong relationship with administration, but we really need to encourage that relationship with the students.
“So, going through and just having that physical connection and reaching out to students in various organizations, going to their meetings, grabbing coffee with their presidents, really trying to establish those face-to-face conversations. ... I’m really trying to make sure that we don’t just hit the reset button on this last year because we have new senators.”
Morgan Mattler, vice president of public relations this academic year, was elected as the new executive vice president.
“The vice president serves as the internal source to really help guide all the senators in the body, building their projects, and just helping with any and everything they may need," he said. "I’m very honored and excited to serve as executive vice president. I have plans in regards to outreach; I really want our student body to know that we’re coming for them, and we’re excited to interact with them so much more than we have in previous years.
“On top of that, I’m super excited just to serve as that resource to my fellow senators, both VPs as well as every single senator on this body. I’ve had excellent experience with an assortment of different projects just being on public relations that past two years.”
As for the rest of the cabinet, new elects include Holly Neva for vice president of senate resources; Amanda Crawford for vice president of finance; Carter Engler for vice president of campus affairs; and Erin McIntosh for vice president of educational affairs. Rachel Ibarra was also elected vice president of diversity affairs; Cameron Jones was named vice president of external relations; and Bilal Qureshi was voted in as vice president of public relations.
The voting process was comprised of three sections: speeches, Q&A and discussion. Each senator-elect for every position had five minutes to give a prepared speech in front of the senate body. Then, all the candidates sat in front of the body and were allowed to answer five questions each from the body. The answers to these questions were capped at two minutes.
After the Q&A, the candidates left the room while the rest of the senators discussed their options and expressed support for their preferred candidates.
GVSU student senate general assembly takes place every Thursday at 4:30 p.m. during the school year in the Kirkhof Center Pere Marquette Room. The entire campus community is welcome to attend.