Student Senate hosts Student Voice Week

Student Senate hosts Student Voice Week

Emanuel Johnson

Since Monday, the Grand Valley State University Student Senate has hosted tables in the Kirkhof Center and Henry Hall on the Allendale Campus, as well as in the DeVos Center on the Pew Campus, where students can meet with senators and voice their opinions about on-campus issues as part of its annual Student Voice Week.

Sen. Zachery Conley, who serves on the educational affairs committee, said these yearly week-long events help Student Senate determine what issues to focus the majority of its attention on.

The discussion of a bus route extending west of 48th Street on Lake Michigan Drive is something Conley said was directly influenced by past Student Voice Weeks.

“Those sorts of things are usually the sort of input we get from the Student Voice Week surveys, and that’s what we look for … to know what students are looking for on campus,” he said. “These Student Voice Week surveys allow us to know if (something is) a continuing theme that people want, adding weight to that and making sure that we pursue it more diligently.”

Conley said about 100 people show up per day to speak with senators, and one of the biggest issues so far this year is laying sidewalk along the stretch of Pierce Street that runs between 48th Street and Laker Village Drive.

Conley said Student Senate plans to pass a resolution in favor of these sidewalks and has been in talks with administration about what it would take to do so.

“We’ve looked at some of the costs so far, and it’s been projected that about $8,000 is what the thought is to put that sidewalk in,” he said. “Right now it’s vague – we don’t really have any definite answers yet. … A lot of the administration is very sympathetic to that idea, but it’s still up in the air as to where it’s going to go.”

Some of the other hot-button issues include mid-fall semester breaks, blind gender housing and increasing milk sizes.

“A lot of things do tend to pop up pretty regularly,” Conley said. “Having larger milks is a big one that we’re having right now because that was decreased this year – they (students) want to have those back.”

Student Senate will hold its weekly meeting today on the second floor of the Eberhard Center on the Pew Campus. The meeting will begin at 5:15 p.m. and will be open to the public.

The final Student Voice Week session will be Friday from noon to 5 p.m. in Kirkhof.

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