Originally submitted by: Lindsay Thompson, Drake University, Dec. 2, 2010
The Student Senate is a student run organization that governs and represents the entire student body of Drake University. The logo of Student Senate is "Your Visions, Our Missions." The Student Senate goes through an intensive election process to elect each position in order to ensure the correct person is holding office. The election process includes a petition, a ballot, questions for each candidate, a campaign, and then an election.
The Student Senate consists of executive officers, academic senators, diversity interest senators, first-year senator, organization council senators, senators-at-large, and ex-offico members. Each section is made of up numerous positions that are appointed through multiple elections.
The Executive Officer positions are the first elections to take place in the spring semester. The three positions available are Student Body President, Vice President of Student Life, and Vice President of Student Activities.
- Student Body President is the official spokesperson of the Student Body and the Chair of Student Senate. The person in this position follows the legislation passed by Student Senate.
- Vice President of Student Life organizes all standing committees of the Student Senate. The person in this position serves over Student Senators' performance in accordance of their representative functions. This person also is the an ex-offico member of the First Year Interest Committee.
- Vice President of Student Activities is the chair of the Student Activities Board (SAB) and makes sure all SAB functions run smoothly.
Academic Senators advise students of this school or college. They tend to the needs and questions of their constituents. The academic senators must have a declared major or minor in the school or college that they represent. The elections for Academic Senators are held after the Executive Officer elections and before the first of May. The six different academic senators are:
- Arts and Sciences Senator
- Fine Arts Senator
- College of Business and Public Administration Senator
- College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Senator
- School of Education Senator
- School of Journalism and Mass Communication Senator
Diversity Interest Senators
The purpose of the Diversity Interest Senators is to ensure the voice and vote of diverse populations on campus is heard on the Student Senate floor. Mainly, the diverse students that the Diversity Interest Senators represent are ones of different race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, and disability. The Diversity Senators meet every month with the Diversity Interest Senator-At-Large in UNITY table discussions. The senators are elected at the Diversity Convention every year. They all are monitored by the Chair of Student Affairs Committee.
The First-Year Senator is elected by first year students and during the fall semester. The First-Year Senator is also in his or her first year at Drake University. The applicant for this position must have had a 2.0 or higher GPA previously in order to be eligible.
Organizational Council Senators
The Organizational Senators are elected in order to oversee the interests of all recognized student organizations on campus. They must report back to the Organizational Council monthly. Organizational Council Senators serve as connections between their assigned organizations and the Student Senate. Organizational Council Senators are elected during the month of April by Organizational Council representatives.
The elections for senators-at-large are held after the executive officer elections and before the first of May each year.
- Academic Affairs Committee Chair: The Academic Affairs Committee Chair is in charge of attending to any issues of Academic Affairs brought to the attention of Student Senate. He or she is attends the Faculty Senate meetings and brings back knowledge to the Student Senate. He or she is also the student representative to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees.
- Building and Grounds Liaison: The Buiding and Grounds Liaison oversees the physical nature and student body interaction with the Drake University campus. he or she meets with representatives from Facilities, Physical Plant, Security, and Dining Services. He or she also serves as student representative to the Building and Ground Committee of the Board of Trustees.
- Campus Advancement Committee Chair: The Campus Advancement Committee Chair brings about research and plans for new ideas that Student Senate can bring to Drake University.
- Community Outreach Liaison: The Community Outreach Liaison plans one community event each semester that is for all student, faculty, staff, and members of the community. He or she meets with Campus Advancement Committee and the Drake Neighborhood Task Force in order to reach out to the community.
- Diversity Senator-At-Large: The Diversity Senator-At-Large work in coordination with the Diversity Senators. He or she also attends the monthly UNITY Table meetings.
- Organizational Council Chair: The Organizational Council Chair is responsible for heading the Organization Council and attending to the needs of all the student organizations on campus.
- Student Affairs Committee Chair: The Student Affairs Committee Chair is responsible for overseeing all activities, policies, and programs of Student Life. The Student Affairs Committee Chair coordinates the annual Diversity Convention. He or she is also the student representative to the Athletics Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees.
- Student Body Treasurer/Student Fees Allocation Committee Chair: The Student Body Treasurer/Student Fees Allocation Committee Chair monitors the Student Development Fund, the annual budgets of annually funded organizations, the budget of the Board of Student Communications, and the Student Senate Reserve Fund. He or she gets approval for the Student Fees Allocation Committee from the Student Senate and evaluates the Student Activity Fee in the fall. He or she is also the student representative for the Business, Finance, and Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees.
- Student Services Committee Chair: The Student Services Committee Chair takes care of the "implementation and maintenance of all programs and initiatives referred to the Student Services Committee by the Campus Advancement Committee or the Student Senate."
- Technology Liaison: The Technology Liaison is responsible for all things involved with technology on campus. He or she meets with the Chief Information Technology Officer and is a voting member of the Board of Student Communications.
- Law School Representative: The Law School Representative is chosen by the Student Bar Association. He or she attends at least two Student Senate meetings per semester and submits one written report per month.
- Parliamentarian: The Parliamentarian ensures the use of Robert's Rules of Order at all regular meetings of Student Senate. He or she is chosen by the Executive Officers of Student Senate with approval of the majority of Student Senate.
- Public Affairs Officers: The Public Affairs Officers are responsible for all publicity and communication of the Student Senate with the Student Body, faculty, staff, and the community. They are in charge of the web site and social media. They are chosen by the Executive Officers of Student Senate with approval of the majority of Student Senate.
- Secretary: The Secretary takes the minutes of every meeting and makes them available by the next meeting. He or she is chosen by the Executive Officers of Student Senate with approval of the majority of Student Senate.
- Student Body Auditor: The Student Body Auditor is responsible for all Student Activity Fees and accounts and overseeing all the spendings of all annually funded student organizations. The Student Body Auditor is an ex-officio member of the Student Fees Allocation Committee and works with the Student Body Treasurer. He or she is elected by the Executive Officers of Student Senate with approval of the majority of Student Senate, but he or she may not serve in as chair, editor, or executive member of any organization receiving an annual budget or be involved with any Student Activities Fees.
The Student Senate consists of six committees. They are each dedicated to achieved each committee's goals and visions. Each committees is comprised of many different students. Not all members hold a certain position. The six committees and their goals are:
- Academic Affairs Committee (AAC)
- Provide feedback on the new Curriculum Proposal.
- Work with Deans and Directors to create a uniform printing policy for all colleges.
- Revise the Student Senate by-laws that pertain to AA and Academic Senators.
- Campus Advancement Committee (CAC)
- Work to establish a student-run sober cab driving service for students of the University
- Bring Zipcars (a car-sharing company) to Drake for students to reserve and use for personal activities at any time
- Create a voluntary text-messaging system that will alert students of class cancellations due to weather emergencies
- First Year Interest Committee (FYI)
- Change Senate’s bylaws to put a First-Year Senator around the table
- Put on a successful Alcohol Awareness Week
- Work on the line of communication between Senate and first-year students.
- Student Affairs Committee (SAC)
- Host a successful Diversity Interest Convention.
- Revamp the Student Handbook guidelines pertaining to new student organizations and the annual budget application.
- Keep the organizational approval process running smoothly by completing the approval hearings in a timely manner.
- Student Fees Allocation Committee (SFAC)
- Hearing one-time funding requests from students and organizations, and then recommending to the full Senate which requests to fund through student fees
- Creating a budget for the following academic year that provides annually-funded student organizations with the resources they need to conduct their operations
- Evaluating the adequacy of the current level of Student Activity Fee, and then recommending to Senate whether to decrease, increase, or leave it unchanged it for the following academic year
- Student Services Committee (SSC)