Student senate encourages campus engagement with week of activities


GVL / Emily Modloff

James Kilborn

Student senate recently hosted Student Senate Week, which featured a variety of events centered on getting elected members engaged with the student body. Senate members aimed to show the value in creating a dialogue between senators and students, illustrating which issues are weighing on the campus community and creating plans on how to address them. 

Student Senate Vice President of Public Relations  Bilal Qureshi said the week of events allows senators to connect with students as well as raise awareness of student elections that will begin March 25. 

“First and foremost, this is an opportunity for senators to make a strong effort toward engaging students,” Qureshi said. “Engagement efforts are made so that our senate continues to build a better relationship with students so that we have more communication on both parts… Throughout the entire week, we promote senate elections and encourage those who are interested in this opportunity to run. Of course, we enjoy putting on some fun and informative events that students get to go to and enjoy as well as eat some free food.”

Each event corresponded with a student senate committee. On Monday, “Succulents with Senators” was led by the Diversity Affairs Committee, which entailed the decoration and ornamentation of potted plants. On Tuesday, “Last Lecture” was organized by the Educational Affairs Committee and included motivating presentations from popular professors. 

Other events included a discussion board and Kahoot trivia game led by the Campus Affairs Committee as well as a state-funding letter drive led by the External Relations Committee. All events focused on getting students engaged and participating in on-campus events. These events give a snapshot of what being a student senator entails, as relations with the student body are paramount for any prospective candidates. 

“In this way, we show how we work hard toward important issues at GVSU and the surrounding communities in an enjoyably interactive way,” Qureshi said. “If this kind of work resonates with a student, we hope to encourage them to run for student senate so that they can be more involved with this experience.”

Elections for the student senate begin March 25 and end on March 31. Any student is eligible to run as long as they complete the candidate packet and requirements established by the Office of Student Life. 

“The elections packet will have the details and the timelines for student senate elections,” Qureshi said. “There will be instructions on how to fill an application online as well as directions for the photo that will be used in the candidate packet. A student who grabs a packet and wants to be put on the ballot needs to get two faculty signatures, 100 student signatures, turn in the application and get their photo taken. Packets are currently available but will be due March 18 at 5 p.m.”

Advice from current and former senators regarding campaign advice is available on the Grand Valley Student Senate website within the “elections” drop down menu, then under “campaigning tips and tricks.” With 44 spots available in next year’s senate, there will be both ample opportunities as well as competition for students wishing to join the student legislative body.