Q&A: And now, a word from our Senators

On Saturday, Feb. 3, the Student Government Association released the results of the spring 2018 Senator elections. The S&B’s Maxwell Fenton interviewed a senator from every cluster asking about their goals, both cluster-specific and broader, for the semester, as well as what motivated their campaign in the first place.

The S&B: What motivated you to run for senator this semester?

Lakeroje Senator Regina Logan: So I ran again because I was really excited by the direction we were going in last semester. I’m really excited to bring more people on campus into the conversation at SGA — I think that more senators got more involved than they have been in the past, and I think that the next step is to convince people that even if you’re not a voting member and you show up it matters! If you have something you want to see happen at this school, I want SGA to be the place that you can show up and be confident that you’ll get it done.

What are your broad goals as a senator this semester?

RL: I want to definitely increase engagement and outreach. One of the things I want to do is start quantifying our engagements — looking at numbers, how many people come to campus council, to office hours — I don’t know exactly how yet, but as we work on bettering our outreach strategies, we can see where we’ve done better and what we can still improve on. I also would love to see campus council agenda items come out earlier so we can get input from students — instead of what happened at campus council, this is what’s happening at campus council this week, and what are your thoughts?

 

What are your broad goals as a senator this semester?

CaNaDa Senator Erica Satchell: For me, specific goals would be to get to know as many residents in that area as well as a watering fountain in Dibble Annex. I don’t know how [possible] that would be for this year… I’d at least like to try to get it done.

What other cluster-specific issues do you want SGA to address?

ES: I feel like with us being all the way north, a goal of mine is for residents in the cluster to interact more. Norris is kind of on its own, and Cowles is on its own. We’re not as interconnected as other dorms on campus, so a goal would be for us to interact more.

 

What are your broad goals as a senator this semester?

Loosehead Senator Mithila Iyer: Again, I would say access to information is one of my broadest goals, so transparency with SGA and just in general with the administration is something I’d really like. I’d also really like the administration to tackle the culture of competitive suffering on campus — this almost unhealthy need to work yourselves to the point where you don’t stop for breakfast in the morning even though you need it because you don’t have time or you’re running late for class…

What other cluster-specific issues do you want SGA to address?

MI: Even when I was off campus, the reason I noticed there were things going on, and changes going on, and things students were unhappy about is because they were talking to SGA about it, and I feel like because SGA speaks so clearly and has such close relation with administration and students by its very nature, it is a really effective tool in kind of getting student voices heard… and then there are simple things like food, like breakfasts, and getting the laundry room if not completely fixed, then at least a little better with carts, and detergent, and armchairs.

 

What are your broad goals as a senator this semester?

Clangrala Senator Evan Feldberg-Bannatyne: Well, I think last semester there was an abundance of constitutional reforms, and looking at going over policies and enacting those, so I want to continue having those conversations … I’m also particularly interested in defining good conduct standing and whether it should be a requirement for people to be in good academic standing… And then, keeping environmental focus on things — continuing to focus on divest movement, and making sure that funds are being spent appropriately and in ways that would benefit the student body.

What other cluster-specific issues do you want SGA to address?

EFB: There is definitely some local stuff. This is campus-wide, but getting texts when your laundry is done. I’m looking forward to supporting that. … I’m also looking to keep the pressure on administration to reopen Mac Field so we can cut across it, particularly since not all of it is under construction… where Smith sticks out is really dark there, so hopefully getting a light to clip on the buildings so people can see where they’re going, just for some basic safety concerns. … And the last thing, that would affect more than just Clangrala, would be trying to get a work order to oil the swings so they’re not loud at night so people can go to bed.

 

What are your broad goals as a senator this semester?

OCCO/OCNCO Senator Quinn Ercolani: I definitely hope to increase accountability by student government of the administration. Particularly I’m going to move forward with one of my proposals that was tabled last semester, postponed indefinitely technically, for the creation of a position of student trustee, which was a student initiative that was passed last semester. But once the resolution and potential changes to the bylaws and constitution were brought to campus council, they were postponed for vague language and not wanting to put things in governing documents the trustees might not agree with.

What other cluster-specific issues do you want SGA to address?

QE: Another student initiative I co-sponsored last semester was laundry facilities for off-campus housing. It’s an accessibility issue, especially when you have weather like we’ve been having. I did the math, and I think it’s a mile and a quarter to the nearest laundry facility. In cold like this, it’s not healthy for people, and it takes time and resources that could otherwise be spent for academics, and so I’m going to continue working with Treasurer [Zach] Steckel [’18] and Facilities Management on that. ..

Anything else you want to say?

QE:… I understand people are busy, but self-government is one of the core tenets of being a Grinnellian, and this is a way to literally embody that spirit that we share.

 

 

What are your broad goals as a senator this semester?

JaMaLand Senator Mahira Faran: This semester, me and my co-senator want to work on getting the machines in Main Laundry fixed or replaced. Other than that, we want to continue having good engaging and well-attended hall councils. I’ve initiated two student initiatives — one is water filters in dorms, and the other is having toasters in kitchens, so I will be working on implementing those.

What other cluster-specific issues do you want SGA to address?

MF: I feel like South Campus location is good, but I feel like its facilities aren’t as promising. So our biggest obstacle and our mission would be to get laundry machines replaced. Those bother our cluster the most and we’ve had a lot of complaints about them. Everyone on South Campus — and JaMaLand in particular — wants the machines replaced because a lot of people have to walk to Loose or East Campus because the machines don’t work. And last semester, I checked with FM … and they said they were functional. So they work, but they don’t work properly.

 

 

What motivated you to run for senator this semester?

Smounker Senator Jonathan Rebelsky: I ran for senator this semester because last semester I ran as a write-in candidate under the advisement of some friends and [SGA] President [Summer] White [’18], and I really enjoyed it and I really liked the chance to be able to help my cluster and help the College as a whole.

What are your broad goals as a senator this semester?

JR: My goals for student government this semester, as they were last semester, are to make us more accountable to the students, and to make sure the student money is being spent wisely and effectively.

 


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