On Nov. 1, Saint Leo’s senators provided an excellent way for students to express their concerns about life at Leo. Sundae with the Senators gave the students the opportunity to mix and mingle with members of the student government.
“The purpose of Sundae with the Senators was to make the campus more aware of who the senators are and what they do on campus. The senators also wanted to hear the concerns the students are having on campus so that they can implement plans to make the student life on campus better. My aim this year is to work along with the senators to make them more prevalent on campus. The Senate body is currently working on amending the student government union constitution and making it more up to date,” said Melissa Bryan, Vice President of Operations and president/chair of the Senate body.
For many years, the Student Government has been acting as the voice of the student body, presenting suggestions and concerns to Administration.
“The Senate body is composed of six different committees namely the judicial/ appellate committee, appropriations committee, standing rules committee, philanthropy committee, environmental committee, and a new committee which I recently formed which is named student outreach for university life (SOUL). This SOUL committee is composed of 4 sub-sections which are food/beverage, transportation, promotions/marketing, special events,” Bryan continued.
The atmosphere was filled with hope. Students’ were eager for their voices to be heard and for positive changes to come into effect in and around campus. Shantae White, a freshman majoring in biology, was very happy about the noticeable presence of the student government on campus.
“I wasn’t aware that we were able to visit their office for assistance whenever we needed to, but I learned that here today. I am really happy to know that there are students here who care about our voices being heard, and who care to make positive changes in our community. Events such as these motivate me to become a part of student government, as I want to be a part of such an amazing group of people” she said.
Throughout the evening’s proceedings, many of the students expressed a common concern: the inability for them to move around the area if they do not own a car.
“I wish the school had some more provisions to help students get around. Simple things such as going grocery shopping become such a huge deal because of my lack of transportations. I am an international student, and so are many of my friends, and as such, I don’t know many people who own cars. I do take advantage of the Walmart trips the school has. However, I think these are very infrequent,” said Destiny Bailey, a sophomore biomedical science major.
Similar thoughts were expressed by Cynnique Johnson, a sophomore majoring in biomedical and health sciences. She believed that Saint Leo should consider investing in services such as ZipCar.
“I went to my best friend’s college, and there, they had ZipCar, and I learned that her school has partnered with the company to provide a car-sharing program on their campus. This undoubtedly helps many students who are unable to purchase a car for themselves, but need to get around to run errands once in a while,” Johnson said.
“The transportation committee is currently working on finding out if transportation is an issue on the main campus, and is doing a survey to determine how strong of an issue transportation is to the student population” responded Bryan.
Another popular issue seemed to have been the opening hours of the dining hall and the Lions’ Lair.
“I wish we had somewhere on campus which was open twenty-four hours so I can get food whenever I want to. Sometimes I leave the library very late, and I am hungry, but I am unable to access food here on campus. I would really appreciate if the school would consider extending the opening hours of the Lions’ Lair because I think this would be of great benefit to the students,” said Romario Williams, a freshman computer science major.
A slew of other suggestions were given, and the students seemed to enjoy conversing and getting to know their senators. The sundaes, which were free of cost to those who participated, were certainly a plus to those in attendance. There were a variety of tasty ice cream flavors and toppings which were enjoyed by many.
“I think that this event was a unique way to allow our voices to be heard and our opinions to be noted. I also enjoyed all the lovely sundaes which were free. This was a really nice dessert, and a great treat after my hard day at school,” said Laurian Simpson, a freshman and biology major.
Students are always welcome to voice their opinions and concerns to members of the student government. A positive change starts with those who are brave enough to request it.