Keeping Up with the Senate

Tuesday, October 5 marked the second meeting for the 2010-2011 Student Senate.

 Senate adviser Paul Rykken describes the students to be in their “organizational stage,” but still managed to get work done. The executive council was chosen with senior Emiley Rios serving as the president, junior Josh Hanson as vice-president, senior Elizabeth Cook as secretary and senior Andy Epps in charge of communications. The decision was unanimous.

As a senator, the students have a lot to keep up with, but Rykken has developed a plan to keep them organized. The senate has a Twitter account, similar to the one that students can use to follow BRFHS and receive important updates. Following the senate tells the students about meeting, deadlines and any other important information that the senators need to know. Not only is the senate working on keeping themselves informed, but they are working to better spread information to their districts.

 “You have to be more than a voice over the P.A.,” said Rykken.

 He encouraged the teens to talk one-on-one with people in their district and to inform students that they are their senator.

 “How does the student body view you as the student senate?” asked Rykken. A goal for the teens this year is to make sure that BRFHS views them in a positive way.

 To work on helping the global community, they are donating money towards Habitat for Humanity in Haiti. They raised $4,000 for the organization last year. This donation intersects with the Viva Haiti project created last year. The senate took notice that there is still very much to do in Haiti and want to do all they can to be a socially responsible group.

 Also on their agenda during the meeting was breaking off into committees. The senate is made up of four different committees. The communications committee is in charge of publicizing the senate and communicating with students and the community. The constitution committee’s job is to inform students about the Student Senate Constitution. To cover issues of diversity within our school, the senate formed the school environment committee. The political action committee promotes political action. This committee will have its work cut out for them this year.

 The voting turnout for the 2010 elections was at 44%, much lower than the goal of a 60% turnout. The senate’s goal is to promote voting both inside and outside of school.

 “By November 2, there will be 40 seniors eligible to vote,” said Rykken.

 To encourage these seniors to rock the vote, they will be sending them letters to remind them they now have the right to choose who will represent them.

 Any student with suggestions, questions or concerns is encouraged to talk to their senators.