Student Senate builds relationships among student body

Student Senate

By Ella Fritzemeier, Student Senate

Hello! My name is Ella Fritzemeier and I currently sit on the public relations committee for Student Senate. The public relations committee works to share what projects senators are working on, spread awareness for events that Student Senate is having and engage students with Grand Valley State University as a whole.

In December, we planned an event called “Snacks with Senators.” This event was a chance for students to come, get some brain food for studying (as it was getting close to finals) and also to learn a little more about Student Senate. The event was held in the library, so students could chat for a little while and then get right back to studying. This is just one of the ways we worked to connect with the student body this past year.

Based on the responses from this event, we thought it would be a good idea to plan more networking opportunities. Thus, “Meet the Candidates” was born. With the upcoming Student Senate elections in mind, we decided to plan an event for individuals running for Student Senate to come and meet prospective voters as well as those currently on Student Senate.

The event was an opportunity for students that had never even heard of Student Senate to come in, grab some food and learn more about Student Senate. It was held in the Multipurpose Room of the library, allowing students to stop by for a quick chat and get back to studying as needed.

Much like “Snacks with Senators,” this event turned out to be a great success. Students that had never met before ended up becoming campaign partners, others learned about the work of Senate and some even learned how to vote in the upcoming elections.

Elections as a whole are one of the most important times for Student Senate, particularly for the public relations committee. This is the time when we must do everything that we possibly can to ensure that we reach as many students as possible, encouraging them to vote in elections. Historically, Student Senate has a little less than one-fifth of GVSU students participate in voting, and we have been working diligently to increase participation across the student body.

Of the committees I have sat on during my two years on Student Senate, the public relations committee has definitely been my favorite. The events we plan, the interactions with students that we have and our overall purpose is inspiring to me. While our committee works to help students understand what Student Senate is all about, my favorite part about this committee is when students come up with an idea to improve GVSU and share it with us.

So, as a student, how can you get involved? If you have a concern about GVSU, please submit it on our website or stop by a Public Opinion Day. If you are just plain curious about Student Senate, be sure to stop by one of our meetings, which are held most Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. in the Pere Marquette Room in Kirkhof. Check for the official schedule. We are currently finishing up the 2014-2015 year, but we cannot wait to be back in the fall, ready to serve all of you!

Grand Valley State University’s Student Senate works to ensure that the student’s voice is continually heard by the University. Please feel free to contact the Student Senate:

Office: 0040 Kirkhof Center

Telephone number: 616-331-2333

Email: [email protected]


Facebook: Grand Valley State University Student Senate

Twitter: @GVStudentSenate