This fall John Brown University students elected their first dorm senators to the Student Government Association.
The Student Government Association is the students’ voice to the administration and faculty.
Leanna Ngo, Student Government Association President, said this created six new positions. She said in the past the Resident Hall Associations, an organization within each hall that “promote fellowship, growth and fun” according to Residence Life frequently asked questions, sent representatives.
However, since they were not senators, they could not vote.
Ngo said, “We thought this system was pointless, so at the end of last semester, we proposed these six new senator positions in order to get equal representation from the dorms/residences. The proposal passed and here we are.”
Teague Broquard, Walker Hall senator said, “I believe creating dorm senators with voting power allows SGA to have more insight into the student life aspect of JBU.”
He continued stating, “The residence hall is where community can be significantly strengthened and dorm senators have special access to this. Because we reside in our respective dorms, we are able to hear our peers and understand what matters most to them in respect to the residence hall.”
Broquard said he is honored to be representing his residence hall “because we believe in the power of democracy and the voice that it gives to all people.”
The other dorm senators are Walker Martin for J. Alvin Hall, Kimber Kunselman for Mayfield Hall, Ana Rodriguez for Hutcheson Hall, Hank Black for the Northslope Apartments and Caitlyn Powell for the Townhouses.
When asked about what the association hopes to accomplish this year, Ngo said the Association has not had their first meeting “so nothing is set in stone without the approval of the senate, but the officers have been looking at a couple of potential projects.”
One of these could be the speed bumps on campus. Ngo said, “The speed bumps are poorly designed and damage your car’s suspension no matter what speed you drive over them. They are very abrupt and cause your car to jolt even at low speeds.”
Ngo argued that this hurts the purpose of the speed bumps “because people end up driving as quickly as possible over them to get the jolt over with more quickly. We want to communicate with facilities and arrange some way for these speed bumps to be changed to speed tables.”
Another potential project would be putting a hydration station in Walker Student Center.
Ngo said, “It doesn’t make sense that place with the most traffic on campus would not have the water bottle re-fillers. Even Mayfield has one.”
Ngo then reaffirmed these were only possible projects, “we as the officer team would like to push for more discussion and opposition within the senate. Too often, we find ourselves all agreeing on a subject during discussion, but when the vote tallied, we find that there were those opposed to the matter but did not speak up. We value each senator’s thoughts and opinions on every matter and would like to create an environment where our senators can speak freely,” Ngo said.