Ever wonder what your Winona State Student Senate actually does?
Well, Senate is a group of elected students from the Winona State student body that meet once a week to discuss university issues, from department fees to club funding to general issues we think students might be facing. As a recently elected Senator representing the senior class, I have realized that I had no idea what Senate really did. The Student Senate actually has a lot of power to change not only this university, but also the whole MNSCU system by presenting and discussing our ideas with other universities. Meetings are filled with student voices trying to decipher student opinions as best as they can.
To help organize these various opinions, Senate divides itself into committees to address all student issues such as Public Relations, Student Services and Academic Affairs. A new addition to this list of committees is the Inclusion and Diversity Committee, which started this semester.
Senator Christopher Veeder started the Inclusion and Diversity Committee to help students feel safe and valued.
“The goal of this committee is to find ways to make sure all students feel that their values and ideas contribute to the universities community,” Veeder said. “And to make sure all students feel safe to be who they are on campus.”
Veeder started the committee because he and other students felt that diversity issues were not being addressed on campus and that these issues could be better solved in a committee setting, where issues could be discussed and given success plans.
“It is important for Winona Student Senate to have this committee because far too many students are not feeling welcome and some are even being harassed for who they are,” Veeder said. “It is time for Student Senate as well as for the university to respond to make WSU a welcoming and safe space for all.”
The Diversity Committee is currently trying to help the KEAP Diversity Resource Center receive sustainable funding that will help the KEAP Center hire employees and provide them with the resources they need to help students. The KEAP Center has currently been moved on campus in the old Winonan room (the room that is now the temporary Book Store) and has funding for the rest of the semester, but not for the coming years.
If you would like to address any issues to the Inclusion and Diversity Committee, you can contact Veeder at CVeeder12@winona.edu. The committee also meets Mondays at 5 p.m in the Student Senate office, which is in Kryzsko Commons. To bring any other issues to Senate in general, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by the Student Senate Office at any time!