Interaction key between Senate, UI student body

Well fellow Illini, I’d like to personally congratulate you on making it through one heck of a semester. Over the last four months our university has been through a lot. It started with the embattled President White and Chancellor Herman announcing their resignations and ended with classes being canceled across campus when the GEO went on strike. In between we had everything from 1,000-plus cases of H1N1 virus, to budget cuts all across campus, to seemingly more muggings on campus this semester than I remember from my last two years combined.

Most importantly, the University of Illinois is still here, and we’re not going anywhere. Despite all of these problems and whatever you might have heard other people say, the University of Illinois continues to attract top-notch students from all around the world.

As a student senator, it’s my job to listen to the students about any issues and try to make campus better for all of us. Let’s say you’ve noticed something on campus that you think needs to be brought to the administration; it doesn’t matter if it’s just an issue you’ve faced with the new bus system, a safety concern, or something bigger. Come visit us. We’re like those old relatives you have but don’t see often, we love having visitors, but, unlike them, we don’t have any embarrassing baby pictures to show off.

We have meetings every Wednesday at 7 and have a public comment section. If it’s something you’re really concerned about, talk to a senator and have them draft a resolution. You know that friend you have that always talks about how creepy their walks home are from the UGL? Send them in to talk to us. We’ll try to work out something with them. Maybe you have some ideas to make the campus more energy efficient. I’ve got good news for you. We have a whole committee devoted to that, and other committees devoted to just about any other question or idea you might have. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll probably be able to find someone that does.

All in all, we’re here to help, and sometimes we don’t get utilized as often as we should. I admit, it may seem daunting to get up and talk in front of around 50 college students you’ve probably never met before. However, I think after a while you’ll find out we really are interested in what you have to say, especially if it has the potential to improve our campus.

Luckily, for those of you that want to be involved, we still have plenty of issues to become active in. While many of the issues that we faced in the last semester are starting to die down, new ones are always popping up. No one knows what the next semester might bring, but one thing is for sure. With your help, the Student Senate will get the student body through it, in one way or another.

Senator Nolan Drea