Jeremy Graber – Assistant News Editor
At the end of the fall quarter, a dozen members of the student body met under the cover of night in the N-building to discuss the formation of the first Bellevue College Student Senate. The gathering, led by Associated Student Government (ASG) President Shelton Barnes and ASG Associate Justice Abshir Mahamed, covered the founding principles as well as pressing student issues.
The Bellevue College Student Senate will serve and represent the student body by promoting diversity, enhancing student involvement, creating bridges between clubs and programs, as well as improving general welfare and support student success.
Those currently working on the assembly’s finalization predict a gradual increase in participating groups in the upcoming quarters. The long-term objective concerning membership is to have every club and program on campus represented, as well as the students-at-large, during their bi-weekly sessions.
The Associated Student Government’s power is vested in them by the state of Washington as well as the Governor. The student senate’s main purpose is to aid in their decision making process. According to ASG President Barnes, “while the Associated Student Government cannot delegate power to the students, they can be guided by the students’ voice.”
In the past, ten members of the board would deliberate over an issue and only seven had voting power. While the senate will not add votes, it will certainly ensure that the student body has a better representation and has a hand in deciding what is in their best interest.
“As of December 2010, we have 65 clubs. This means that there will potentially be 65 representatives plus their assistants. That is at least 130 members not including all the support staff and student-at-large representatives,” pointed out ASG Justice Mahamed.
Among its other responsibilities, the senate will have the ability to create committees which will research specific student issues and pursue feasible solutions. Some of the planned committees include: education; wellness; finance; sustainability; government relations; marketing and events.
For those interested, Senate sessions will be open for the public to attend. Clubs and programs are encouraged to contact Abshir Mahamed at email@example.com for more information. The senate is currently looking at having the bylaws completed and being ready to start this coming quarter.