Through the eyes of an ISS intern

Each and every meeting for the Illinois Student Senate starts at 7 p.m. sharp on almost every Wednesday of the year. For me, that means getting to the ISS complex between 6 and 6:30 to grab all the name plates, binders and I-clickers. Then I head down to the Pine Lounge to set up for that nights meeting. I pass out packets to all senators and make sure that everyone has the same exact items in front of them; I-clicker, schedule for that night, binders full of references and their name plates up.

Once the meeting starts, I get to sit and observe how the student body of U of I operates. They discuss upcoming events and current issues, arguing and compromising until a solution is found that will help the students. Since I am only an intern, I do not get to participate in the actual votes, but I learn every meeting about the importance of being a senator. I see them work so hard to get their points across in hopes that their movements will satisfy the public. The greatest thing about being an intern is the knowledge learned. I will be able to take the lessons taught in the Pine Lounge and apply them to my own life, maybe even one day as a senator.

Now, the meeting has been adjourned and I start the clean up. I take back all of the name plates, I-clickers, and binders. I then am notified if any changes to a senator’s items need to be implemented. I take all of the meeting’s items and head back up stairs to the complex, make sure all the boxes are put in their right places, so I can find them next week, and head on home.

Being an intern might seem boring and really just the stressful work that the board members do not want to do. But I feel that this is the way I can participate in the meetings, I get to know the senators and the board members not only on a business level of sorts but as real college students, too. We have created a home between us, and I truly adore every single member. I see how hard they work to make this a better campus and they impact my daily life because I am always thinking about the effects my own actions can have. There are many funny moments in ISS, of course everything on the agenda gets finished, but there can be cracks of humor that make me realize that they are all students too. Not only are they attempting to make life on campus easier for the massive student population, but they are doing it for themselves as well.

Rae Markwell,

Illinois Student Senate intern