Wednesday, May 11, 2011

In response to your Student Life concerns...

Despite it being the end of the year, Senate is still actively chugging along on a new project that will continue over the summer and into next year. For the time being, these are the conclusions we have come to:

One concern that many students share is that the student relationship with Student Life is not meeting either parties standards.  This has been an ongoing issue, and this relationship is a complicated one.  Senate was approached by a small group of students about improving this relationship, and Senate approached Student Life with the following statement and after a meeting with Student Life, the following statement was given in response.

Student Senate, working with student concerns, invites Student Life to an open dialogue moving toward clarity of procedures and priorities.

Student Life recognizes current concerns expressed by students directly and through facilitated conversation by Student Senate and is willing to engage in open dialogue in an effort to: 1) hear and clarify student concerns, 2) offer clarification of procedures and priorities, and 3) improve the relationship with concerned students through increased trust, communication, understanding, and shared goals for students at Bethel College.

As a first step to hear and clarify student concerns, Monday evening Student Senate hosted a time of conversation with a broad representation of students about these issues.  There was a variety of perspectives, and points of concern about both the student perspective and attitude toward Student Life and the disciplinary procedures were discussed.

There was documentation of these points of concern and in an effort to formalize other concerns, there is a form available if someone has a grievance they would like to share.  These will be used in conversation with Student Life about what should be clarified and communicated more effectively.
The school year is coming to an end, and we all have finals and final papers to be getting on with, yours truly included.  However, working with the concerns shared, a variety of students representing different perspectives on campus will work with Student Senate and Student Life over the summer about ways to build a more collaborative relationship.  

Some focus will be given to the handbook and specific disciplinary procedures for clarification.
Students will be provided with a hard copy of the Student Handbook at the beginning of the school year.
There will be a meeting at the beginning of next year to specifically handle clarification of the Handbook.  Also at this meeting we hope to help students understand the priorities of Student Life in general as well as how those priorities apply to specific procedures.
We will work to create ways of formal and informal conversation within the disciplinary procedures.

As this work progresses over the summer Student Senate will keep students updated through email.  Also, at the beginning of the new school year there will be additional goals, which will arise from more in depth conversation with Student Life.
--Naomi Graber
Vice President

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fast so that others may eat

Last Thursday and Friday I attended the Kansas Hunger Dialogue with President White. While we were there, many wonderful speakers and students addressed both global and local hunger issues and what college campuses can do about it. One such speaker, Tony Hall, a former legislator, spoke about a previous demonstration he conducted in the form of a water-only fast for 28 days. Hall is doing another multiple-day fast and he begins his fast on Marcy 28th.

To join Tony Hall in his fight against world hunger, other campuses around the state will be fasting on the 28th as well. The good news is, the 28th is the day after Spring Break, and I know most of us will feel like we have eaten too much over Break anyways, so the fast comes at a perfect time to renew our spirit and refocus on school.

Each meal we eat in the cafeteria costs roughly $1.80 per person. So, if we even hand half of the student body fast for all three meals, we could donate $1,350 dollars to Numana. Why Numana? In light of the recent tsunami and earthquake, Numana is scrambling to send food to those who have been displaced by these natural disasters. I realize the victims of the natural disasters are not necessarily also victims of chronic hunger, however Numana  also addresses global hunger and a donation to their organization helps them fund these projects, regardless of their cause.

Please, please, please reply to my stuent-announce if you are interested in doing this fast. You must sign up by this Friday, March 18th. Fasting for one day is the least we can do to offer our resources elsewhere, and call attention, even if it is just to alert ourselves, to the issue of global and local hunger.

- Julia Huxman

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Numana Hunger Dialogue

I am here in Kansas City attending the Kansas Hunger Dialogue with President White. This event is hosted by Rick McNary (Andrew McNary's dad) who is the CEO of Numana. Remember when they came to do a packaging even on our campus to send food to Haiti? We got to package again today too.

The cool thing about it is that twenty colleges and universities from Kansas are here with one or two administrators and a student so we can talk about how to address global hunger on our campuses. It has been so cool to hear what other students are doing. For example, a senior who is actually from Auburn University in Alabama talked about how his school has a Minor in Hunger Studies and that they have a club on campus that stages awareness events regularly on their campus. I think all of us have been inspired by the speakers and the ideas that have been generated from their presentations. I mean one BILLION people in the world are facing chronic hunger this year!

Tomorrow I will get to talk about what Bethel is doing to address global hunger. I know, we don't have a specific organization on campus that addresses hunger, but I am going to talk about how our students get the opportunity to see the affects of hunger first hand by traveling. Those of you that went to Mexico and Haiti, I am using your stories to illustrate this, so thank you for sharing them with us during Convo.

I will post more tomorrow about the second day of the conference. So stay tuned!!
If you want to check out some websites,

- Julia Huxman

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Comming up

As we wrap up February, Senate has done a lot of work to plan out the rest of the semester. Most importantly, we are discussing what we should spend our money on!! It's always exciting to do some shopping for the campus with Senate's money, but we also think it's important to weigh our options. So, so far these are the items we have investigated:
A. More renovations to Mojo's  including more  new table tops and chairs, new curtains and artwork.
B. Raising funds to combine with ours to finish out the flooring that was started.
C. Setting aside some money to purchase new kitchen supplies for the mod kitchens.
D. Installing a fob (is that how you spell it?) system for the  Mem. Hall weight and cardio room.

What do you guys think? Any preferences? We still have to check on prices and that will ultimately determine our decision but if you have any suggestions or comments we want to hear them!!

Have a good weekend! And talk with your friends about running for Senate!
- Julia Huxman

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ready for a new semester

So we're all a week into classes and the campus is settling into its comfortable pace once more. Once the hype of new classes wears off, issues on campus become more apparent. We have our first senate meeting this coming Tuesday, and we have a loaded agenda. Among other things, we will be discussing continuing the renovation of Mojo's, the bike share program, the cafeteria committee, student-announce policies, the campus drug testing requirements, and a few other issues. If you can think of any more, you know the drill.

You may have seen in Convo today, that senate has the March 18th convocation. What would you like us to do to make that convo unique? Seriously. I want this to be informational so students know what we're actually doing but I don't want one single person sleeping!

I welcome your thoughts,

- Julia Huxman