After last month’s elections, only 22 of the 37 Senate seats in student government were filled, and while there is currently under-representation in several colleges, the president and vice president-elect are confident they can patch the holes during summer and fall recruitment.
And amid drafting the future faces of the Associated Students of CSU, who assume the senatorial role on May 6, current and former student government leaders said institutional change is inevitable.
Although Hole said there wouldn’t be many major changes, he emphasized there will be small tweaks.
“There will be a rearranging of the cabinet; people will report to different areas, and the cabinet will work more closely with the senate,” Hole said.
While 33 students ran for seats, the 11 who lost in the game of political musical chairs had applied to the more competitive colleges with fewer seats, ASCSU Vice President-Elect Tim Hole said. The College of Liberal Arts had the most candidates apply, with 12 contenders competing for the six available Senate seats.
“The College of Liberal Arts was very competitive, and we came out with very strong (senators),” Hole said.
The College of Liberal Arts is one of four colleges, including the Colleges of Business, Engineering and Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences that have full representation.
However, 15 seats are empty in the following
The College of Agricultural Sciences: one
The College of Applied Human Sciences: five
The College of Natural Resources: two
The College of Natural Science: two and,
The Graduate School: four.
During the summer months, recruitment presents a challenge, but in order to fill the remaining seats, recruitment will be picked back up in the fall, said ASCSU President-Elect Dan Gearhart.
Both Gearhart and Hole said they are confident in the senators, elected by CSU students during the April 6 and 7 Election to serve during the 2009-2010 academic year.
“The student population voted (the senators) in, so I’m very confident in them,” Gearhart said.
Kevin Robinson, a senator for the College of Natural Sciences, hopes to see some changes. Although Robinson is unsure if he will return to senate next year, he would like to see some “cutting of the fat.”
“(Gearhart and Hole) don’t want to increase lots of the fees,” Robinson said. “I’d like to see more student communication. There is not enough transparency.”
Current ASCSU President Taylor Smoot echoed the confidence in the senate. Highlighting the positives, he believes will come with the personnel changes.
“The good thing about these year-long terms is that they bring fresh eyes and fresh ideas to the table. It’s different people, a different year and different situations,” Smoot said.
And while Smoot acknowledged the new administration’s political stance and ideologies differ from his own, Smoot said that a new perspective is always good.
“I think that they’ll bring a more conservative view to student government. We were expansive, we did a lot of extra services for students,” he said. “They will have a tighter hold on expanding the organization. They’ll bring a great new perspective.”
Hole’s experience as a former senator will be beneficial to the overall structure of Senate, said ASCSU Elections Committee Manager Zane Guilfoyle.
“Since the vice president is elected from the senate, he is a lot more knowledgeable and fluent (in the language of the senate),” he said. “He won’t have the hardships that Quinn had last year and will get orientated a lot faster since he is quite familiar with the process of the senate.”
Guilfoyle also said that since Gearhart comes from a military background he speculates that he will be more specific about expectations and will articulate those expectations to those working with him.
Staff writer Justyna Tomtas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.