College considers new student senate - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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College considers new student senate

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Chloe Gregg

By Chloe Gregg
Associate Editor

LCC has big news this week for students who want to be heard.

Through LCC’s “Strategic Planning Public Meetings,” it has been decided to create a “Just Do It” project list that, among other things, details the possible formation of a student government or student senate at LCC.

Mark Kelland, a professor of psychology and LCC’s accreditation liaison officer, said the “Just Do It” list includes projects and ideas that arose during the last formal Strategic Planning session.

“One of the items on that list was supporting the creation of a student senate, an idea that was looked into before the pandemic, but which then fell by the wayside,” Kelland said. “A student senate could provide a direct voice for the students in communicating with the highest level of LCC administration.”

Kelland, a member of the Academic Senate at LCC, said although the Academic Senate has two student senators and a Student Advisory Committee, the Academic Senate reports to the provost on academic issues.

“In the past, students have expressed concerns about issues such as the cost of food in the commons and the importance of a ‘green’ and sustainable campus,” Kelland said. “Neither of these issues fall under the purview of the provost, but rather the senior VP of Business Operations.

“There are likely a variety of other issues that students are concerned about that are not directly academic in nature. Thus, a student senate, (which) perhaps reported directly to the president of LCC, could ensure that students are heard in the appropriate venue.”

Creating a student government would allow students to touch on issues at the college and make changes for things that are not solely academic in principle. For instance, a recent editorial in The Lookout brought light to the limited food available on LCC’s main campus.

Jonathan Ten Brink, the program faculty chair of the LCC Music Program and the current president of the Academic Senate, said having a student government could give students the agency to tell LCC what they want, and what they want to see done at the college.

“The biggest benefit is giving the students a collective voice and agency to use it,” Ten Brink said. “The college sends out surveys, (and) holds listening sessions and student panels on a regular basis. And those are great ways for the college to receive information that it wants to know about.

“A student government empowers the students to set their own agenda and speak as the student body, not just as individual students,” Ten Brink continued. “It provides a specific outlet for students to give opinions on what matters to them, and not just in response to a prompt from the college.”

Currently, LCC wants to hear from students on whether they are interested in building a new student senate or governing body to help provide student input on decisions both large and small.

Students interested in having their voices heard can let LCC know by emailing studentlife@lcc.edu.

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