Sorting out Senate


Executives want students to know they are approachable

Emily Leber / For The Post

When students at Ohio University see problems on campus, Student Senate wants them to approach the body with the issues to come up with solutions.

The Student Senate executive board consists of President Landen Lama, Vice President Nicole Schneider and Treasurer Zach Woods. Schneider compared the body to a student council in high school when she talked to students at the involvement fair, which takes place in the fall before classes begin.

Student Senate

Laila Riaz | FOR THE POST

The GREEN LIGHT campaign ticket pose in Wolfe Garden on March 27, 2016.

“The first thing I’ve told students at the involvement fair is that we are like a student governing body on campus,” Schneider said. “So a lot of times for the first years, I compare it to what their high school government was, like student council, but it’s kind of upped a level.”

The three executive members stressed the importance of students getting involved on campus. With that, Woods said when freshmen go to the involvement fair there are usually so many organizations recruiting that it actually can discourage them from getting involved, rather than encourage them.

“There’s just so many options you’re just kind of overwhelmed by it but (it’s important) just to find your passion and get involved with it,” Woods said. “Yes, we’re here for academics. Yes, we’re here for our majors and our careers, but getting involved is where you find those connections, where you learn those real life lessons, where you become the person that you are supposed to be.”

One way for freshmen to get involved on campus and with Student Senate is through its internship program. The program is designed to help teach and train students who are interested in joining senate.

Former Student Senate President Hannah Clouser started out with senate through its internship program and will be working in New York City as an actuarial associate in the fall. Lama said the internship program shaped Clouser into the person she is today.

“We have an excellent intern program which is really geared towards freshmen,” Woods said. “We have them on a rotating schedule so they can see which commission they would be most likely to fit (into).”

In Student Senate, there are a variety of different commissions for students to be a part of. A commission is a group of people assigned to officially be in charge of a particular function, and each commission has different roles and responsibilities. For example, the LGBTQA Affairs Commission works with the OU LGBT Center and LGBT community to make sure that group is fairly represented. Interns assist in each commission.

Lama and Woods said they want students to know that they are approachable, and they’re just regular students, regardless of their titles.

“We’re very interesting people. We’re fun. We’re nice,” Woods said. “I’d like to say we’re approachable. Anyone can approach us to talk to us.”

Lama also said the executives want to be an “avenue” for people to come to when they see a problem on campus.

“It’s really just, ‘see something, say something,’ ” Lama said. “If you see something in the university that’s not working, big or small, come to senate.”

Lama will be meeting with incoming OU President Duane Nellis to discuss what’s going to happen next academic year. Nellis will begin serving as OU president June 12.

“I know that President Nellis is ready to hear those complaints and work out how can we make those complaints no longer a complaint,” Lama said.

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