Student Senate Undergoing a Reimagining

Student Life Working To Increase Student Representation

BC+Senate

Photo by BC Student Senate on Twitter

Student Life is aiming to reimagine what Student Senate and overall student representation on campus looks like this academic year. This process will involve the input of previous members of the Student Senate, some of whom are pictured here.

Shayne Williamson, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – Adjusting to the pandemic has altered many aspects of Bridgewater College, one of which being the largest student representation on campus — the Student Senate. However, there is now movement towards Student Senate coming back to campus, this time with more emphasis on truly representing the student body.

Whitney Smith, Bridgewater College’s Assistant Dean of Students and Advisor to Student Senate during the 2019-20 academic year, explained the inspiration behind reforming how Student Senate will look this year, stating “we are looking at this as student representation and engagement. It’s not just about how we represent students, but how we make Senate a dynamic part of our community?”

In order to take the first steps towards developing a new and improved Student Senate, Coordinator of Student Engagement and Leadership Sam Schlernitzauer conducted meetings with previous Executive Board of Senate members and the American Student Government Association to “get feedback about where Senate was at, some of the challenges we faced, and some of the opportunities that were coming into play because of us going virtual and being to adapt and adjust as needed.” 

According to information provided to BCVoice via a press release from Student Life, after conversations with Senate members “it became clear that a transformation of student representation was needed in this new normal of COVID-19.”

As next steps, Student Life will form a committee of students by reaching out to former Student Senate members who “showed interest in enhancing student representation.” According to the press release from Student Life, their purpose will be to “help develop what student representation should look like and what is going to be most impactful and beneficial for the student body.” 

This group will be tasked with creating a vision for a new organization that represents both undergraduate and graduate students. The committee will also be responsible for defining how that organization will be composed and how it will intersect with both Student Life and the Campus Engagement and Activity Team, better known as CEAT.

Student Life plans on having the brand new reimagining of student representation finished by the end of this academic year and encourages students who have any questions or concerns about their experience on campus to reach out to the Office of Student Life directly.