Calvin College Chimes

President Edgar Aguilar leads senate, aspires toward advocacy

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President Edgar Aguilar leads senate, aspires toward advocacy

Photo courtesy of Facebook campaign page

Photo courtesy of Facebook campaign page "Edgar Aguilar for President."

Photo courtesy of Facebook campaign page "Edgar Aguilar for President."

Photo courtesy of Facebook campaign page "Edgar Aguilar for President."

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Student senate, under the leadership of President Edgar Aguilar, has been working nonstop to bring positive changes to the Calvin community by initiating eight new projects and programs throughout this year. These include the Light Boxes and the Wellness Room programs in cooperation with the Center for Counseling and Wellness, a Rainbow Book for the LGBTQ community to find off-campus support and collecting student art for Johnny’s Cafe.

They have also developed two long-term projects: renovations to the Fish House area and an International Flag display in front of the Spoelhof Center. These two long-term projects will not be done until the beginning of the next academic year, but Aguilar and his team will leave everything ready for their completion.

“With all these projects, our goal is to leave everything set up so that they can be completed,” Aguilar said.

Regarding the two long-term projects, he clarified that they will leave all the plans and the funds ready for use, and that it is only a matter of time before the Physical Plant gets to work on them.

In addition to initializing projects, student senate has partnered with other student organizations and individuals to hold events. These include partnering with senior Selvi Bunce for the Women in Action Conference last fall, sponsoring TEDx Calvin College, as well as working with the Christian Leadership Justice Institute to foster intergroup dialogues on complex subjects.

The senate has not been without criticism, however.

“A big [project] that came up this semester was related to our advocacy efforts,” Aguilar said. “We didn’t do enough advocacy for issues [both within and outside of Calvin] that students care about.”

In order to improve their advocacy work, the senate will release a Final Report and Resolutions paper by the end of the semester, in which they will state the five primary issues students think should be addressed. This report will also include the steps that Calvin has already taken in regards to these issues, as well as steps that students think Calvin should take in the future.

Student senate has already begun surveying students, and some of the issues that students have brought up are Calvin’s implementation of its sustainability plans and how to improve the experiences of religious minority students within Calvin.

“This is a very good way to do our job as student senate: to represent student voices and to potentially create conversations and raise issues that will bring positive changes for both current and future students,” Aguilar said.

Student senate is holding elections this spring, and the senate is encouraging students to participate. There will be an informational meeting on Wednesday, March 13 at 6 p.m. in the student senate meeting room. All students are encouraged to attend.

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