A note from the student body president on the upcoming year

%0A

Photo courtesy calvin.edu

Dear Calvin community, 

My name is Claire Murashima, and I am your Student Body President. If you don’t know me- I’m studying marketing and come from Orange County, CA and Chapel Hill, NC. Some of my hobbies include listening to NPR podcasts, making matcha lattes and grocery shopping. I’ve spent my time at Calvin as a Student Senator, the founder of Calvin Dance Marathon, an Orientation Leader and have participated in Dance Guild a few times. 

I am so pumped for the start of another academic year at Calvin University, and look forward to seeing you all soon. There’s no doubt that this year will look different than years past, but I want you to know that I am committed to doing what it takes to best serve the student body during this time. I am so excited to see all of the ways that we will serve the community in this next year. 

As the student body president, I lead the Senate team, seek to represent all students, and link students and college decision makers. A few unique goals of my administration include increasing student input and fostering transparent communication between the administration, Student Senate, and the student body. This year will be my third on Student Senate, an organization that has been around for 102 years- and while I am quite familiar with how things work around here, I’m open to trying new approaches and empowering others to lead beside me. These past few months have forced all of us to be adaptable and find new ways to best serve the student body and I’m excited to see how we will all work together to leave Calvin better than we found it. 

First of all, I affirm that I am personally and corporately committed to anti-racism at Calvin. The events of this summer shed light on the injustices that exist in our world and motivated us as a Student Senate to make changes. We’ve set up committees that allow us to listen to individuals who are most impacted by discrimination on campus and to address systemic injustices in our communities, which you can join here! We have also set up channels that allow for more transparent communication between students and college decision-makers such as our ‘questions spreadsheet’ and our town halls with the Safe Return Team, both of which we are planning to continue into the school year. 

Second, with regard to the pandemic that has affected us all, I want to affirm that Student Senate will still be working to support our students in new and creative ways despite all of the changes to how campus will operate in the fall. Student Senate’s cabinet has taken on the mandate of serving students in our COVID-shaped world- and we will look at how to maximize the student experience, support students in isolation and quarantine, ensure that student employees are cared for, and make sure that our community as a whole is informed on how to stay safe and new developments from the college are communicated clearly. For those of us who will be engaging in on-campus learning this fall, it is a privilege to be back on campus, and we must all be committed to living intentionally to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing, wearing face coverings while indoors or in busy outdoor areas, washing our hands regularly, and participating in the daily health check-ins. Also, don’t be scared to tell others to wear masks and stay 6 feet away! Pool noodles are about six feet long, so if you see me walking around with one- don’t be surprised. Building a culture of caring for our community starts with us, so if we want to stay in person, we need to be safe from the start! Learn more

Some other projects we’re looking at are providing socially distant outdoor spaces for students to work out, hosting a competition to display student art, working with SPIN to bring bikes and electric scooters to campus, revitalizing the disc golf course, and working to increase recycling on campus once it is safe to do so. We’re always looking for ideas, so please feel free to share your ideas with us! 

As transparent communication is a goal of mine, I’ve been posting regular updates on the work I’m doing on @clairethepresident on ig, and you can follow @calvinsenate on ig/fb for all official updates from Student Senate. As always, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] with any questions or ideas! 

 

All my best,

Claire Murashima

Student Body President

Calvin University 2021