The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

Student Senate outlines internal restructure plan

GVL/ Sam Nelson

Grand Valley State University’s Student Senate is eager to move forward with the restructuring proposal for the organization. The restructuring plan was the main focus of the Sept. 7 general assembly meeting. The restructuring aims to best serve the senators and the student body. 

Following the election of the new Student Body President Quinten Proctor, the Student Senate is primarily focused on the restructuring of the Student Senate body as they enter the 2023 fall semester.

Student Senate said the primary focus for this semester is to not concentrate on new legislation and issues, but to tackle internal tasks like restructuring following the election of Proctor and other roles on the senate.

“Generally, this semester will be spent working to set up a new and improved Student Senate for success in the future,” Proctor said.

The organization is still trying to fill unoccupied positions after many members left at the end of the winter semester last year. The senate closed applications on Sept. 8 and are anticipating over 30 applications to fill open spots. 

The Sept. 7 meeting began with electing Zuriel Johnson to be the Educational Affairs Vice President with no objections, then moved to ongoing senate projects, open positions and the restructuring plan for the year. 

Proctor said the senate has been “connecting with officials” over the past week and are in a “prep phase” for the new semester. Next week, Proctor anticipates that the restructuring process will officially begin. 

Proctor then moved into goals for the restructuring plan for fall 2023. Generally, the points of action the senators brought up included broadening representation, improving student perspective, increasing visibility, implementing the best possible practices and making the Student Senate experience more fun.

“The biggest challenge comes from the fact that there are not many returning senators from previous years, so we collectively have less experience than usual,” Proctor said. “This makes it somewhat difficult to get the ball rolling as I am still settling into my new position as president, and I’m also working on coaching our new cabinet members as they transition into their positions, while we also acquaint our brand new senators and eventually our new appointees with Student Senate.”

Additionally, after last year’s discussions surrounding funding and student wages, Proctor said he anticipates “taking a look at” internal senate budget. Proctor discussed a temporary stipend increase for the cabinet and a stipend increase for general senators. 

The senate stated they are not as focused on events this semester. The senate has temporarily paused external relations, removed guest speakers at the meetings for the semester and may reduce the timeframe of meetings. The senate does plan to keep the public comment section, though it was up for discussion in the future.

The senate hopes to create more time for restructuring by attending essential events and by not passing any new legislation this semester. Proctor said even though the senate would have less new legislation, he still maintains goals to continue with previous, ongoing legislation.

“I plan to continue working with the university on implementing legislation we’ve passed before, including our initiative on interfaith rooms on campus, as well as our initiative on student wages,” Proctor said.

Beyond restructuring, discussions centered voter engagement and other ongoing projects.

Student Senate finalized the 9/11 memorial event. Taking place 22 years ago, 9/11 is a solemn day of remembrance for the victims, survivors and first responders that experienced firsthand the terrorist attack that claimed over 2,000 American lives. GVSU intends to honor these individuals, as discussed by the Student Senate, with attendees placing American flags on the Kirkhof Center lawn to honor the victims and survivors of the tragedy.


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