SA goals: Revamp elections

By James Green

In its first meeting of the semester on Sunday, the Student Association Senate began to outline its goals and plans for the semester and elected an SA Senate deputy speaker.

Senate and spring 2014

The Senate’s plans to emphasize student engagement are underway; Speaker Dillon Domke said one area of involvement the Senate is looking to improve is Senate elections.

One possibility being considered is moving the Senate elections from fall to spring.

Domke said this would give the senators more time to interact with the student body, as well give them the summer to begin their work.

Domke and Senator Brandon Phillips also said the Senate is considering online elements to the elections; however, Domke and Phillips said plans are in preliminary stages and are still being formulated.

“That’s one of the things, but [we want] student engagement campus-wide,” Domke said. “Whether it’s going to concerts, plays or basketball games, or even just turning out for Senate meetings.”

Phillips and Domke also said part of getting students involved is interacting with them directly and letting them know what’s out there.

“There’s plenty this university has to offer in terms of getting involved either in the community or within the university,” Phillips said. “It’s just that no one knows about it, which is problem No. 1.”

Domke said the Senate plans on looking into the school’s printing policy in the computer labs. He said students get 200 pages of free printing in NIU’s labs. Next year, it will be lowered to 100 pages, and in 2015, students won’t get any free printing at all.

“It takes away a service students should have, especially for the amount of money they’re paying to go here,” Domke said.

Deputy speaker

Senator Ben Donovan was elected as the Senate deputy speaker, a spot which was vacant after Domke’s election to speaker. Donovan said the deputy speaker’s duties pertain to organizing and managing internal senate affairs, while the speaker’s job is mainly coordinating with university faculty and administration. Donovan is also available to students as a resource to communicate with the senate.

“I regularly tell everybody to come to my office,” Donovan said. “You can email me, call me, text me; anything.”

Other business

The Senate approved the NIU chapter of the John Henrik Clarke Honor Society.

The John Henrik Clarke Honor Society was created in 2009 at other schools to recognize African American students for their academic achievements, but it had not yet been present at NIU.

The Senate also approved the formation of an archery club.