Spring semester was the last time we saw the student senate members that Metropolitan State has known for years. These members, along with the rest of the senate, can authorize the use of university funds for student-led organizations and even wield clout in some decisions made by the university.
The new parking ramp, student center and science education center at the Saint Paul Campus are just a few things the senate helped bring to life, in addition to many more achievements under their belts.
Although many of the senate members have now graduated and are moving on, Metropolitan State will not forget the time and effort they spent making tough decisions. The university community thanks those who are leaving, and those still remaining, for their work.
Leaving this year are President Matt Rubel, Vice President Brian Wermerskirchen, Treasurer Rico Lopez, Fatima Ali, Jonathan Carver, Jenny Chhoun, Sarah Leistico, Sabat Omer and Bukola Oriola.
Also acknowledged are these remaining students in the Student Senate for their continued service: Secretary Burak Tekin, Samira Adam, Francis Kuteesa, Amber Hamm, Linna Ahmado, John Patterson and Grace Alexander.
The final meeting for the roster took place on May 20 and could be seen as a changing of the guard with both old and new senators attending. This was the outgoing members’ final hurrah before their seats end in two weeks, and one of few opportunities for them to show the newcomers the ropes.
“Right now, the outgoing senators want to make sure the incoming senators know enough about the process,” said incoming Vice President Burak Tekin regarding the transition. Tekin will also help mentor the new members, to ensure this information is carried over. Tekin was somber, yet positive at the transition.
“It was bittersweet seeing the senators leave because some of them have great leadership skills that will definitely be missed, and we will feel a hole for a while,” Tekin said. “But it’s also good when people leave so new people can come in and new ideas can come in, so I see this as a turning point.”
The senate executive board has also changed, with current Secretary Tekin succeeding Adam Wermerskirchen as vice president and Samira Adam succeeding Rico Lopez as treasurer. The new student senate president is Dhibo Hussein, with Heather Moenck as the new public relations director and Nichole Schooley as the new engagement coordinator.
The president, along with nearly three-quarters of the delegate body, is new. Asked about what current issues they intend to tackle, Sen. John Patterson said community engagement is key.
“One thing that is really important is reaching out to the community, making sure we build those ties and listen to the community and their concerns with Metropolitan State and make sure they’re not disconnected.” Patterson also said the Senate is currently examining the payment strategy for the new parking ramp.
Even in their last meeting, the members of the student senate were seen hard at work. They delegated funding approval for student organizations and congratulated each other for a job well done. The university wishes them luck in their future endeavors.
To learn more, visit the Student Senate OrgSync page.
James LaMotte is a CWA Intern. He is a senior in the Professional Writing program at Metropolitan State University and anticipates graduation in December 2016. His interests are in literature, video games, and dog training.