USUAA elections bring new wave of senators to student body

Spring semester of 2017 brought new faces to stand as senators within the UAA community. As a senator, these students play an integral role within the USUAA government.

“I am the summer speaker, so I run the meetings during the summer assembly. And then I’m just a senator, so I represent the student body at large when we make decisions,” Alex Jorgensen, political science major, said.

Jorgensen joins two other political science majors, Morgan Hartley and Caleb Berry, in trying to make a difference in the student experience at UAA. Jorgensen, Hartley and Berry all have different roles aside the common goal of representing the student body.

“Each senator is required to serve on two committees. The two committees I serve on are the Legislative Affairs Committee and the Activities Committee,” Berry said. “We plan homecoming, we participate in the campus kick-off.”

Most senators also plan to do a senator project.

“This is sort of an unofficial way to categorize a particular senator’s pet project which can range from the revamping of parking services to a new campus activity,” Hartley said.

Each senator also has a different goal in regard to bettering the campus. As a peer health educator in the Student Health Counseling Center, Jorgensen believes that bystander awareness programs should be more widespread throughout the community.

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“One of my main goals is to use my senator position to make the campus safer as it relates to sexual assault and violence,” Jorgensen said.

Berry hopes to use his position as a senator and Greek life member to pursue his project.

“I want to do my best to make sure we expand Greek Life on campus,” Berry said. “I’ve got several ideas to improve life on campus, increase the revenue of fraternities and sororities… I have a lot of great ideas that will help.”

Hartley simply hopes to represent all students at UAA in his actions.

“My goal… [is to] adequately represent all students of UAA in every legislative action I take, and do my best to ensure that administrative decisions are made using the same criteria,” Hartley said.

On top of their duties, the senators stress the importance of hearing from the voices of fellow students.

“We love hearing from people, and we typically don’t. They don’t know we’re a thing. Or, that we’re just people that sit in a semi-cool office behind some glass. We want to connect,” Jorgensen said.

USUAA members reside in an upstairs office at the Student Union, allowing anyone to walk in and talk to their senators.

“The student government room is a public place and that any time the door is open everyone is welcome to come in and say ‘hi’ or voice a concern,” Hartley said.

Each senator is different and has different goals, but in the end, they are one voice that represents thousands.