Student senate appoints four new senators


Photo by Matt Lesky

On Friday, after two sets of interviews and hours of deliberation, student senate appointed four first-year students to serve as student senators for the year. Anaiah Zainea, Devin Auld, Mallika David, and Abigail Denton were officially sworn in Monday.

The four senators were chosen from a pool of 15 candidates, all of whom filled out an online application and collected 100 signatures from their peers in order to apply.

The following step in the process was a group interview for all the students who applied.

“We got to see how the applicants worked together,” said Jonathan Manni, senate’s vice president of public relations. “From there we selected seven for individual interviews the next day.”

The upperclass senators stressed the importance of adding in first-year students every year. “We want to represent every student on campus,” Manni explained.

For Zainea, a Chinese and business major, senate was an opportunity for service. “I heard it was a good way to build relationships but also to serve the school,” she said.

Auld, a mechanical engineering major, agreed: “I thought it would be a great way to serve, a great way to use my talents to help other people.”

Mallika David, who studies speech pathology, echoes the emphasis on relationships:

“It’s a way of being involved in the Calvin community, for being in a new place and understanding the place through the people.”

Hailing from India, David also looks to use her experience “being from a different culture” to offer a unique perspective to senate.

Abigail Denton studies English secondary education and comes to senate with a breadth of experience behind her, including being the president of her high school class.

“I know that God has blessed me with some leadership qualities, and I wanted to take a stab at leadership at Calvin to represent a school that I believe in,” said Denton.

Jona Eigege, student body president, said he was looking for applicants who were passionate about place and passionate about service.

“They need to be able to work here; they need to be able to see how their gifts and talents are subservient to the organization [but can be used],” he said.

“We also considered who best fit the roles that we were looking for in our teams,” added Manni. “We had already set up two teams on senate, and so it was important for us to find the other four members that would fill the roles on the teams that were empty.”

The first-year senators will join either “Team Maroon” or “Team Gold,” which will focus separately on specific projects on campus. Their addition puts the total at 10 senators, with five additional cabinet members including VP and President.

“People are ready to get projects off the ground, people are already excited about the work that we’re doing,” said Manni.

“A lot of the projects we’re doing are just continuing projects,” he continued, pointing to the bike program and campus renovations. “We wanted senators that would be willing to start off running.”

Manni is optimistic about the new arrivals, adding: “We see a lot of passion.”

Denton is eager to start her work with senate.

“I just love collaborating with people and making things happen,” she said.

“So far it’s been amazing,” expressed David. “I have high hopes.”