Student Senate takes a new approach to problem solving

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The Student Senate of William Jewell College vision statement reads, “Senate is a proactive group of elected representatives which exists to serve and support the campus by creating a channel of communication to empower the student body voice and striving to build up and edify the William Jewell community.”

When William Jewell College’s Student Senate realized that they could achieve this more efficiently, they decided to recreate the program and change the way they work to accomplish tasks.

 In the past, Senate had general committees that each worked on one aspect of every project. One change this year has been the implementation of specific project teams instead of general committees. Each team works on one specific project, which helps Senate remain more organized and become more efficient.

 “The teams aspect was brought about by our cabinet because we thought it would be easier to assign teams by the name of the project rather than by general committees like it has been in the past,” said Harry Schwartz, Student Senate president.

 This allows for Senate members to delve completely into projects that they are most passionate about and really concentrate on one task.

 “This is a really good way to work because we became engaged and we are focused on one or two projects that we feel invested in,” said Kate McFerren, leader of the intellectual property initiative committee.

 Senate currently has five teams that are either in the process of accomplishing their tasks or have implemented plans to complete them.

 One team is the outdoors task force. Recently, Senate surveyed the Jewell students regarding the lack of outdoor seating options on campus and what alternatives students would like to see for the future. They are now working to buy hammocks that would be available for students to check out in the Pryor Learning Commons. This team is also working to construct an outdoor classroom.

 Another team is dissecting Jewell’s alcohol policy. The current alcohol policy provides limitations to how much alcohol students of age can have in their room at a given time and where they are allowed to drink. A students of age is limited to one 24-pack of beer, two one-liter bottles of wine or a single one liter bottle of spirits. Students are only allowed to drink within their rooms.

 “We are currently looking into the way this is written and how it affects students on this campus that are of age,” said Schwartz.

 Senate will soon send out a survey to the student body regarding this policy.

 A third team has established a “Haircut Day.” Through this, Armani N. Marciano’s has agreed to give $9 haircuts on Saturdays to Jewell students who present a valid student ID.

 Another team is working to create a privacy amendment to the student handbook. With the implementation of iPads, students have concerns about privacy, specifically what the College has a right to view and what should remain personal to students. The privacy amendment team is seeking a way to discover what the College has the power to see, educate students on these rights and see what they can do to give students more individual privacy.

The intellectual property rights team is working to incorporate students’ intellectual property rights into the student handbook. This is something that Jewell has not had in the past. Students may not know that Jewell has the right to receive a certain amount of the profit from a student-made creation.

 “Our goal is to have a belief statement available to all students that includes a cap percent that the school would expect,” said McFerren.

 This year Senate has committed to interacting with Jewell students to see what it is that they would like to see improved on campus. The group acknowledges that there has been a lack of knowledge about Student Senate and their work in the past.

 “When I joined Senate, they were ending a campaign to get the students engaged in communicating with senators through a contest of taking selfies with them. This was a way to help students identify who they are and make contact,” said McFerren.

Senate is working to find the best way to benefit positively Jewell students and the campus.

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