Student Senate projects

Photo+courtesy+Student+Senate

Photo courtesy Student Senate

As representatives of the student body, each year student senate seeks to meet the needs of students across campus by undertaking new projects. So far this year, senate has 10 projects, some of which are already being implemented. Others are still in the planning stages. Senate hopes to add to this list of projects by drawing ideas from last week’s “Idea Week.” Whether it’s partnering with groups on campus, renovating spaces on campus or starting new programs, senate hopes to implement the following projects to help serve and engage students at Calvin.

Food drive week: This past week, senate partnered with the Service-Learning Center (SLC) for the ACCESS county-wide food drive. This food drive is put on each year by the SLC, but Senate joined in the project to expand the efforts of the food drive beyond the residence halls and to get more student participation. Senate has not only aided in the promotion of the food drive, but it will also help sort the collected materials and bring them to the Access of West Michigan Organization.

Fish House renovations: The Fish House is currently undergoing renovations as a part of one of Senate’s projects. There will be new carpeting, a new countertop, fresh paint and the furniture will be reupholstered.

Recreation rentals: In hopes of providing more recreational equipment to students, senate will soon be implementing a “Recreation Rental” program. For a fee of $2 per item, students can rent equipment such as badminton rackets and birdies, hammocks, slacklines, Frisbees and spikeball sets from the Senate office for a few hours.

Student organization lunch: In line with its core values to encourage collaboration and promote relationships, senate is seeking to open up opportunities for student organizations on campus to connect. It is planning to host a lunch for student organizations, providing a space where organizations can share ideas and connect with one another.

Social media audit: Senate will be looking into how student government organizations at other colleges use social media to evaluate senate’s use of social media. Senate strives to be an active and transparent voice for the student body, and it wants to use social media as a tool to communicate with the student body.

Outside Wi-Fi: Working with the physical plant and information technology at Calvin, senate is exploring the possibility of increasing Wi-Fi strength outside of campus buildings. Senate plans to get student input on their outside Wi-Fi usage before diving into work with physical plant and IT.

2nd floor library renovations: Senate is currently in the planning stages for renovations on the 2nd floor of the Hekman Library. They plan to replace old furniture, install more power outlets and add a water bottle filler. They will submit a proposal to Calvin’s cabinet this fall in hopes to complete renovations by early February.

Dorm lobby telecommunications: In an effort to improve communication on campus, senate is looking into putting TVs in the dorm lobbies that would share opportunities and announcements (such as campus safety announcements) with students in the residence halls. This initiative could make information more accessible to students on campus, but the cost constraints might prohibit the implementation of this program.

Dining hall reform: As one of the broader projects this year, senate is looking into how Calvin’s dining hall system can be improved. It is considering ways in which the dining halls can be more sustainable by creating less waste and updating kitchen equipment. It is also looking into how the current meal-swiping system can be improved to best benefit students.

Library on Sundays: Perhaps the most discussed idea for change on Calvin’s campus is opening the library on Sundays. Senate is striving to have the library opened the Sundays during exam week for both the fall and spring semesters in order to give students an appropriate place to study during finals. Opening the library on Sundays has been a controversial topic and has been met with hesitation from some. Senate is currently in the process of gathering signatures for a petition to have the library open on Sunday during exam week, which it will present to the student life department and Calvin College’s cabinet.