Senate Initiatives

The University of Minnesota Student Senate is one of the four senates that constitute the University of Minnesota Senate. Established in 1969, the Student Senate is the University of Minnesota system-wide student government body that represents more than 60,000 students across the university's five campuses. 

In this section of the site, you may find down below many articles of random thoughts about my work at the Student Senate.You can also browse through the following subsections for more focused topics. Those subsections represent the core areas in which I'd like to work on as the vice chair of the student senate. 

State legislative leaders to receive student ranking of regents candidate

posted Jan 31, 2017, 7:10 PM by Fanda

Members of the Student Senate Consultative Committee (SSCC) and other student leaders signed on a letter that will be sent tomorrow to MN state Senator Michelle Fischbach and Representative Bud Nornes about regent candidate picks. Both state legislators are co-chairs of the the Joint Legislative Committee.

The letter was drafted by the Student Senate chair Trish Palermo and discussed on SSCC last Thursday in a closed-door session. It states a set of expectations students want to see in a regents candidate. These expectations reflect student leaders' priorities and concerns for the well-being of the student body. The letter reads "It is imperative that such candidates recognize, value, and support our excellence as a leading research institution; are able to demonstrate strategic foresight that ensures the best interest of students and the university as a whole; and, uphold the University’s policies that protect sexual assault victim survivors."

To view the full document, please visit here.

Senator positions for next year open for application

posted Jan 19, 2017, 3:06 PM by Fanda

All Campus Elections Committee opened the application for the TC delegation of the Student Senate. 
The deadline to have a candidate's name appeared on ballot is February 1st. Their web link is provided: here.
A candidate can still run for a senator office on a write-in basis after Feb. 1st. 
Elections start on Mar. 1 at 8:00 a.m. and closes on Mar. 3rd 8:00 p.m. Results will be certified on Mar. 6th at 8:00 p.m.  

Office space in Coffman

posted Oct 15, 2016, 7:01 PM by Fanda   [ updated Oct 15, 2016, 7:04 PM ]

This past Friday, the Student Senate chair, at-large representative and I sat down with the director of the Senate Office and the assistant director of Student Union & Activities (SUA) for a discussion of the possibility for the Student Senate to have its own office space in Coffman Memorial Union. During the meeting, the assistant director prompted us to have further discussion with SUA Board of Governors (BOG) which, based on the assistant director, approves but not with ultimately authority, space use in Coffman. well, whatever...

Anyways, with the full support of the Senate Office and the blessing from SUA leadership, I will set out to work out a concrete plan with the Senate Office and in the meantime make preliminary contact with BOG members. 

Task forces

posted Oct 10, 2016, 6:13 PM by Fanda   [ updated Oct 10, 2016, 6:49 PM ]

The Student Senate is in the process of creating several task forces to better various aspects of student lives. I am in charge of coordinating the creation of those task forces. Based on senators' expressed interest in the September retreat and notes taken from their one-on-one meetings with their SSCC reps, I narrowed down to 10 task forces. All initiation emails were sent on Oct. 1st. As of today Oct. 10th, I've got a handful of senators replied to confirm the creation of their task forces. That amounts to an overall of 6. The number may be added by 1 if I eventually decide to personally move forward with the issue of graduate students paying university fees. All in all, I think this year's student senate is off to a good start!

There will be several things different about the way we operate task forces this year. First thing is that task force chairs or creators are given full autonomy over matters within their task forces. It used to be that a member from the executive committee (SSCC) also sits on a task force. The power dynamic between the task force creator and the SSCC rep may complicate things. To better motivate our senators to work on their projects and to rid off some of the inefficiencies stemming from the power dynamics, I decided to let the task force be "running wild and running free". To make sure the task forces won't go on full "renegades", (thank you X-ambassadors), the second thing I will do differently this year is that I will check in with task force leaders about their progress on a monthly basis. The results of these check-ins will be complied into a student senate internal monthly newsletter. That way, all 60 senators get to see what is going with all our task forces. 

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