Of my three years as a Centre colonel, I have spent the last two in service to our campus through the Student Government Association.  From 2015–2016, I represented my fellow sophomores in the House, contributing to the efforts of the Student Affairs committee; during the current school year, I’ve acted as one of Division I’s delegates in the Student Senate.  Equipped with the experiences, insights, and knowledge that I’ve accumulated the past two years, I am prepared and eager to be your chief academic advocate as President of the Student Senate for 2017–2018.  Under Mason Paas’s leadership this year, the Student Senate has pioneered several initiatives that I would like to continue in Mason’s absence, while adding a number of new items to the Senate’s agenda.

This past fall, the Student Senate organized the first annual Literacy Gala.  Hosted in the Grace Doherty Library, the gala garnered enthusiastic support and drew attendance from both students and faculty members, as it raised funds to purchase books for Centre’s After-School Program.  In addition to providing a valuable channel for financial contributions, the gala allowed individuals within the Centre community to engage in conversations surrounding this worthy cause.  Needless to say, this is a tradition that I consider to be worth maintaining—a sentiment that I hope you share.

Another project that the Senate has undertaken this school year has involved the Center for Career and Professional Development.  In collaboration, the Senate and the CCPD have made various attempts to enhance the visibility, accessibility, and utility of the office for Centre students.  Recently, we decided to conduct a raffle, in which students who register for an appointment with a CCPD representative get entered into a drawing for a tablet.  When the fall semester begins, I’d like to continue these kinds of efforts to incentivize students’ participation in and engagement with the CCPD’s wonderful programs and staff.

My central plank revolves around the school’s exam scheduling.  In the coming year, I hope to spearhead an effort to reform the existing finals framework to a self-scheduled system.  Working alongside the senators whom you elect, and gathering the input of faculty members and academic administrators, I will advocate for an alternative that grants you a greater degree of choice, as the Centre student.  Instead of having to modify your study schedule to accommodate the preconfigured finals layout, you should have the opportunity to distribute your exams in such a way that maximizes your potential to perform well.  As a caveat, though, understand that such a set-up would demand from you higher levels of responsibility, accountability, and foresight.  Ideally, though, if you were to utilize this freedom wisely, it would only work to your advantage.  While I cannot guarantee success on this front, know that I will work tirelessly, on your behalf, to achieve reform that better serves the administration, faculty, and—most importantly—you, as the exam-taker.

I highly encourage you to attend the upcoming debate, taking place on Tuesday, March 14th, at 8:00 p.m.  It will certainly be a worthwhile and informative event, as you prepare to cast your vote on the 15th.  When the polls open, I would be very appreciative of your support, as we strive, collectively, to enhance the academic experience of Centre’s student body.

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