By Mary Catherine Steenberge
►St. Ben’s Senate mid-year review
The St. Ben’s Senate worked tirelessly this semester to make our campus a better place to live for all students. One important objective of the St. Ben’s Senate is to empower women from the moment they arrive on campus. During the Fall semester, first-year Senator Carissa Flores guided fellow first-year students to important resources, such as the online rideshare page.
The St. Ben’s Senate also partnered with the Institute for Women’s Leadership to develop a meaningful program to recognize Bennies of the Month. This program acknowledges a Bennie from each cohort who has
exemplified a particular Benedictine value. In November, senior Annie Johnson, junior Johanna Frisby, sophomore Tracy Magooba and first-year Charly Frisk were recognized for their hospitable nature.
Several senators worked during fall semester to initiate the Women’s Initiative for Leadership Development (WILD). This program will seek to teach Bennies important leadership skills and introduce them to how the Senate operates. This program will launch during the spring semester.
The Senate also sought to care for Bennies’ basic needs. We partnered with Residential Life and the National Residence Hall Honorary to provide care packages to students staying on campus over Thanksgiving break. In addition, the Senate approved funding for the year to supply feminine products in bathrooms on both campuses for women to use in case of emergencies. Junior Senator Sydney Robinson, the Women’s Empowerment Representative, provided input and support to CSB Student Development’s creation of the Bennie Career Closet.
To increase the safety of students, senior Senator Sarah Spaulding and junior Treasurer Wendy Iteghete confirmed that an enhanced crosswalk will be installed between Luetmer and Centennial Commons. This means that when a pedestrian approaches the crosswalk, lights will flash to forewarn oncoming traffic. This is a project that is now being led by CSB Facilities.
The St. Ben’s Senate is currently exploring the possibility of opening a 24-hour chapel on the CSB campus, as well as establishing a Bennie Pen Pal program.
Senior Senator Danica Simonet spearheaded a proposal to create a Sustainability and Resilience Fund that is currently under review. She also began the process of creating a Human Library as an avenue to share students’ experiences. We are looking forward to continuing these projects in the spring semester.
By Jack Cummings
►St. John’s Senate mid-year review
The St. John’s Senate had a very productive semester. During our fall retreat, we developed various overarching objectives and short-term goals. In order to increase internal communication on the Senate, we
implemented a program called Basecamp. Basecamp is an online platform that allows our Senate to communicate with one another and track each other’s progress. This program increases accountability and productivity on the Senate.
After much student input regarding alcohol consumption, law enforcement and St. Joseph community concerns, the St. John’s Senate Executive Board presented student concerns to the St. John’s Board of Trustees.
The Judicial Board studied a review of Lower Campus Open Consumption. After much preparation, they presented a proposal to St. John’s Administration. Although this proposal was initially denied, the Judicial Board is looking into the future of this initiative for spring semester.
The St. John’s Senate continued the Senate Leadership Experience this semester. This is a mentorship and leadership group comprised of first-year Johnnies. This group meets with senators, administrators and other leaders on the St. John’s campus to enable growth among aspiring first-year Johnnies. The St. John’s Senate was present at the Festival of
Cultures. The Cultural Affairs Representative on the St. John’s Senate helped the Intercultural and International Student Services (IISS) put on a successful event. In addition to these accomplishments, the St. John’s Senate spent the student activity fund in a financially responsible way. The St. John’s Senate worked hard to represent student input among administration, the board of trustees and City of St. Joseph officials.
►Joint Senate mid-year review
During fall semester, the Joint Senate Sexual Assault Prevention Committee instigated campus-wide bystander trainings for clubs and organizations to participate in. The group with the best attendance won a $500 prize, which was awarded to the Men’s Development Institute.
The Senates also worked together on the St. Joseph Community Relations Task Force, whose mission is to improve relations between residents and students off-campus. The Task Force presented to the City Council in November, and went door-knocking to introduce themselves to residents in December.
Lastly, President Steenberge and President Cummings worked with a joint task force to plan the 2017 Student Leadership Summit. This event brought student leaders together to develop their personal leadership skills, network with each other and learn how to motivate and utilize teams. It featured Ryan Penneau as the keynote speaker, as well as three additional breakout session speakers.
These are just a few highlights from the 2017 fall semester. We look forward to having another productive spring semester.