New kids on the block: Student Senate’s first meeting

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By Logan Peterson, petersonlo@mnstate.edu

Vice President of Student Senate, Maddie Jo Carlson, chaired her first meeting on the evening of Sep. 6, 2018.

“I was terrified,” said Carlson. “I was running around my house for an hour before freaking out.”

Eventually, Carlson overcame her nerves. The meeting went off without a hitch, and everything seemed to fall into place.

“It was really cool being on the other side of the meeting,” said Carlson. “At the beginning…I felt like everyone could tell I was nervous, but by the end I feel like we were all getting used to it, and I felt a lot more comfortable.”

Matters discussed included doorhangers, Dragonfest, an explanation of expected etiquette for an upcoming “Meet and Confer” event with President Anne Blackhurst, Student Senate’s involvement in the school’s “NextGen” project and the appointing of new senators. A full agenda can be found here.

Nine students, two returning and seven new to Student Senate, applied for the six open seats. All students were asked to explain their reasons for applying and answer a series of questions from the current senate. After their brief presentations, the gallery was asked to leave the room for a secret ballot.

Among the small gallery was Dean of Students, Kara Gravely-Stack, a new addition to MSUM’s faculty.

“It’s interesting to hear what students are passionate about,” said Gravely-Stack, waiting outside with the nine candidates.

After some deliberation, Student Senate President Rahil Pereira informed the gallery that five of the six remaining seats had been filled, and he welcomed the newly appointed senators back in. Four applicants remained, and Pereira explained that they would be competing for one remaining seat.

After they were informed, one of the candidates said, “I’ll make it easy.” And he walked away from the group. Seconds later, two other applicants joined him.

With one remaining applicant, Pereira invited the gallery back in and informed the other senators:

“We have one candidate, and one open seat.”

He then asked the sole remaining applicant, Maryan Adepitan, to speak.

After Adepitan’s second introduction, the gallery was asked to step outside of the room again, rejoining the group a minute later. They were told the news that Adepitan had been selected by quorum to fill the last seat.

In the end, six senators were chosen:

Emily Deglman – Education and Human Services
Jamison Coritinas – Senator-at-Large
Marcus Mergen – Senator-at-Large
Allie Maas – Senator-at-Large
Kelsey Leach – Senator-at-Large
Maryam Adepitan – Senator-at-Large

“We’ve never had more people apply for senate than there are seats available.” Pereira said. “Last night I think was the first time in my known history that we had to pick from people.”

Pereira said this is an encouraging start for Student Senate, and he’s excited for what’s to come. Only two committee chairs remain unfilled, and that’s an improvement from the past.

“I think this year things are changing,” Pereira said. “People are just more excited to be involved.”

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