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Leaders’ Voices Heard at Senate Meeting

Lindsey Temaat, Managing Editor

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Director of Student Life and Housing Ryan Bilderback gives members of Student Senate a tour of the Student Center construction during their monthly meeting.

The Student Senate at Allen Community College held its first meeting on Sept. 6 on the Iola Campus. Student Senate is the student government organization at Allen and is responsible for many things including planning and evaluating student life events and acting as a liaison between the students and the administration of the college.

All students are encouraged to attend the next Senate meeting on Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the Iola Campus Fish Pond.

“Anything that students are having a challenge with and need to let the administration know that they’re having a challenge with can ask the Student Senate for help,” Ryan Bilderback, the director of Student Life and Housing told the Flame in 2017, said. This is Bilderback’s eighth year serving as the Student Senate adviser.

I like how people from different activities were at the meeting, because they all add input on things. The school really works with all of the students that go here.”

— Cristal Macias

In addition to bringing student concerns to the board of trustees, the Senate is responsible for sorting out details for operation of the new Student Center as it nears completion, planning homecoming festivities, and running a blood drive at the college in the spring.

Sophomore Cristal Macias volunteered for many of the Senate’s projects during her freshman year in 2017-18; however, last Thursday was the first time she had attended a meeting.

“I am interested in joining Student Senate because it feels good to have your opinion heard,” Macias said. “I like how people from different activities were at the meeting, because they all add input on things. The school really works with all of the students that go here.”

Ryan Beeson is a returning member of Student Senate and part of the livestock judging team at Allen. Beeson agreed that one of the best aspects of the organization is it’s laid back and welcoming atmosphere.

“I enjoy being able to voice an opinion about life at Allen and seeing the plans unfold for the new student center, not to mention the laid back atmosphere of the meetings,” said Beeson. “Many people don’t know what senate is, exactly. Many people think it’s a very structured business meeting, or some don’t know it exists at all!”

 

NEW THINGS ON THE HORIZON

 

Many new ideas for student involvement were discussed at the Thursday meeting, but a student section or pep club at sporting events became the focus of conversation. Students coming to Allen from larger high schools are used to high energy games and want to bring that same experience to college athletics, it was agreed.

“I am most excited about starting up the student section!” Freshman Gabby Guzman stated. Guzman is a member of the Women’s basketball team at Allen and went to high school in San Antonio, Texas. “With a student section, any student could join and come to just enjoy athletic events or have an opportunity to meet new friends!”

In addition to spearheading new ideas, this group of leaders has had a pivotal role in long term projects. Over the years, Student Senate played a big part of designing the new Student Center and dining hall, and in deciding what would be included in the facilities. Several years of anticipation have created a unique opportunity for the current Senate; the multimillion-dollar project will open at the beginning of the spring semester. This year’s Senate will have a role in fine tuning details before the addition opens, and in hosting the community for a grand opening celebration.

Members of Student Senate toured the construction at the end of the meeting, including Allison Smith, a freshman from Spring Hill, Kan.

“I’m most excited for the new student center to opening this spring,” said Smith. “I’m so excited to see the new facility open and for everyone to use it! For me, I personally feel like I’m going to use the new student center a lot.”

 

SIGHTS SET ON COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

 

While the goals of Student Senate remain, community involvement is becoming a priority at Allen. Students at the meeting threw around ideas of doing a service day with the National Guard in town, volunteering at the ACARF (Allen County Animal Rescue Facility) shelter in La Harpe and being a part of the “Community Clean-Up” day in La Harpe.

Student Senate is a great way to get involved in the community and get to know other student leaders.

Last year, several students and members of Student Senate participated in a project coordinated by Thrive Allen County and Lindsey Temaat, the current president of Student Senate. The group of students spent the day building a “pocket park” in a vacant lot on the downtown Iola square.

“My favorite activity was hands down the pocket park,” said Macias, who spent the day working on the park. “It was so fun and I met lots of new people. It felt good seeing the results from the lot that was there before to the new little park. I love how I can now look at it and say ‘I did that’.”

Austin Hendrix, a freshman at Allen and Colony, Kan., native, leads Bible study at the college and is a member of many other organizations on campus including Senate.

“I want to see every student in the whole college involved in something,” Hendrix said. “A goal of mine is that we can cause each student to be excited about any given upcoming event.”

For more information on how to get involved contact Bilderback at [email protected]u or Temaat at [email protected].

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Leaders’ Voices Heard at Senate Meeting