Student Senate holds election for upcoming school year


GVL / Bethann Long

Madison Steigerwald, Staff Writer

While Lakers across campus prepare for exams and the end of the school year, Grand Valley State University’s Student Senate is planning for the fall 2023 semester with the election of new Senators. 

Last week, all students at GVSU were able to vote for up to five candidates to represent the 2023-24 student body. Voting closed on Sunday, April 2 at midnight, with results posted on the Student Senate website

The Student Senate functions as the student government at GVSU, working to ensure the voices of students are heard by the university. The senate is composed of 50 students, who each serve on one of six committees that focus on different aspects of student life, academics and overall experiences at GVSU. 

According to the Student Senate’s website, they aim to provide “collaborative working relationships between GVSU faculty, staff, administrators, students or organizations to make the Laker experience equitable, accessible and sustainable.” 

This year, 44 positions in the Student Senate were available. 21 students across various majors and disciplines ran on the 2023-24 ballot. Although the senate is made up of 50 students, six positions are reserved for students in their first year at GVSU. These positions are filled at the beginning of the fall semester by an application and interview process administered by the Senate Resources Committee. 

In order to get on the ballot, students had to circulate a petition and collect at least 100 signatures from members of the student body and two signatures from current faculty members. Once on the ballot, candidates must receive no less than 100 votes to be elected to the Student Senate. 

Students also have the option to write in candidates who are not on the ballot, however, these candidates must also receive at least one hundred write-in votes to be elected to the Senate. 

Mallory Everly, a sophomore majoring in Multimedia Journalism and minoring in Political Science ran for her second Student Senate term. She said there are many opportunities for learning and involvement on campus as a senator.

“I just love all of the extracurricular learning opportunities that it provides to people,” Everly said. “Student Senate, in my opinion, is very interesting because it is a combination between a university department and a student organization. Because of this, we hear from a lot of interesting people and we receive a lot of different information that truly teaches you a lot about GV as an institution, which I don’t feel like I would get if I was not in Student Senate.”

Magdalyn Hallead, a freshman biomedical science major, said the senate provides students with many skills, resources and opportunities for future careers, even for those who are not pursuing a career in politics or government. 

“I think a great benefit is the leadership skills, learning how to talk to people, job interviews have been so easy for me now,” Hallead said. “Personally, I learned a lot about the university, how it works and how the administration deals with things.” 

Hallead said students don’t need to be a political science major to join the senate. 

Everly and Hallead said they encourage students to look on the Student Senate website and reach out to the contacts provided for both general information about the senate and how to apply for the Student Senate. 

“If you are even thinking about it, maybe you’re not sure or you’re on the fence, just try it, you never know until you try,” Everly said. “We have various committees that people can sit on, so chances are there’s something for everyone.” 

The newly elected Student Senate will be sworn in during the general assembly meeting on Thursday, April 6 at 4:30 p.m. in the Pere Marquette River Room in Kirkhof Center.