Off Campus Senate: Reps improve commuter voice

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Three vocal members of the Student Senate represent the off campus student population. Seniors Hayley Palmer and Anuhea Wall, and junior Taylor Farris are working toward a better communication method between students living off campus and Student Senate.

According to Director of University Center and Student Life Activities Steve Klein, these students have been using Facebook and the Weekend Update piece as a form of communication.

While this is still an ongoing process, Farris assured they are trying to send out the Weekend Update more frequently.

The Weekend Update is a mass email that is sent out to only students living off campus.

“In the email, we try to put in events that we think might interest the off campus student population,” said Farris.

The emails are a way to keep everyone informed.

“Sometimes we are left out of the loop because we live off campus,” said Wall. “We are apart of Student Senate because we want to try and speak up for all of us who do not live on campus.”

The Student Senate was formed five years ago by a group of students.

Their goal was to make sure that students from all corners of the university had a say at the table.

“It was determined that the Student Senate would have a minimum of two off campus representatives and a maximum of three,” said Klein. “Over the course of the past five years, we moved it to three representatives.”

Off campus representatives hold their positions for the entire school year and are reelected each year. For the 2014-2015 school year, Palmer, Wall and Farris were the chosen three. Palmer was reelected, making this her second year as an off campus representative.

Last year, Palmer said they created an off campus list serve. The list serve includes all students that live off campus, as well as a few faculty members.

This year, they are utilizing this tool as a way to send out information. According to Palmer, there are currently 666 emails on the list serve.

All ladies mentioned that they are open to both positive and negative feedback and encourage students to email them regarding any concerns or questions.

“Let us know,” said Farris. “We are always on campus and want students to know who we are.”

The goal is to create a dialogue between off campus students.

“We want students to not only know our names, but to know what we look like,” said Palmer.

While Palmer, Wall and Farris represent the off campus student population, Farris acknowledged that they are trying to make a difference for students living on campus as well.

“We have the ability to fight for change,” said Farris. “And that is really important to us.”


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