Illinois Student Senate to approve committee members

The Illinois Student Senate will approve the members of twelve committees within the student government at this week’s meeting. The committees cover all students’ concerns and focus on how to better those aspects of student life.

Brock Gebhardt, student body president, describes the committees as an “idea pool.”

“They explore things before they come to the floor,” he said. “They take an in-depth look on issues, refine proposals and make sure they comply with University rules.”

The senate’s standing committees address issues regarding academics, campus, the local community and government, financial situations and internal and public relations. There are also six sub-committees, which include campus safety, cultural, international and minority, environmental sustainability, graduate and professional student affairs, student rights and budget.

Gebhardt, who appoints the members, said the committees have been in the works for weeks. He said the process has been very open and public and he doesn’t expect many changes during this week’s meeting.

“When picking committees, the biggest thing I took into consideration was the chairman’s opinion from each group,” he said.

Joey Gross, student senator and sophomore in DGS, is a returning member of the academic affairs committee. From his experience last year, he said he really enjoyed meeting diverse people from other colleges with different opinions.

“In the end we came together to represent the student body and act as a watchdog to protect student rights,” Gross said.

Gross said that a new year brings new challenges to the committee. One thing they discussed last semester but postponed was a change to the GPA scale. This year, Gross hopes to continue the discussion on adjusting the scale to a 4.5 measurement.

Sarah Halko, student senator and sophomore in LAS, will be joining the senate for the first time. After working as a secretary in the academic affairs committee last year, she is excited to have a vote that counts this year.

“Last year I could voice my opinion, but I couldn’t act,” she said. “I’m looking forward to representing the student body and (making) a difference on campus.”

Gebhardt estimated that there would be 35 new members joining the committees for the first time.

During the weekly meeting, there will also be a presentation of parliamentary procedure given by Ken Andersen, the Urbana-Champaign Senate parliamentarian.

“He will give us a brief overview of how to better use the rules to accomplish business and also inform us on how to run meetings in a structured way that will raise efficiency,” Gebhardt said.

Corinne can be reached at [email protected]