Student Senate adds new at-large representative

At the beginning of this semester the Student Senate added an “at-large” position to ease communications between groups and campuses.

David Clarey

In an effort to increase efficiency, the University of Minnesota’s Student Senate reorganized its executive board this semester.

A new at-large representative position replaced one of the two Minnesota Student Association representatives on the Student Senate Consultative Committee.

The new representative, Madison Schwartz, said her role is to maintain communication between different members of the senate.

“Scheduling different meetings … making sure everyone is held accountable,” she said. “It’s just kind of that point person.”

Schwartz was elected at a Student Senate retreat in September.

She said she worked on the recent push to reduce campus parking prices and helped draft a statement from the University of Minnesota-Duluth that called for the school system to reduce pesticide usage.

Schwartz said she gauges interest in issues through surveys of senators and committee members.

“I have, basically, gone between ‘here is our survey, here is the feedback’ … to look at how this aligns with the entire senate,” she said.

The at-large position is essentially a liason for different members of the senate, said Trish Palermo, chair of the Student Senate and Consultative Committee.

“It’s hard … we have a lot of diverse perspectives,” she said. “The issues they have on the Morris campus are much different than the issues they have on the Duluth campus.”

Vice chair of the Student Senate Fanda Yang said the position also helps maintain a connection with coordinate system campuses.

“We want to really represent, very well, our system campus students through the ways of communicating with their student government,” he said.

Palermo said that the senate is also encouraging individual senators to meet with their respective colleges’ deans each semester to get a better sense of student, senate and campus needs.