Compared to their predecessors a year ago, fresh and inexperienced Santa Fe College Student Senate members had a smooth semester learning the basics of legislation.
In Fall 2014, Senate was divided during a failed attempt to impeach former Senate President Jeremy Pierce, who completed his one-year term at the end of Spring 2015. This Fall, Senate mostly approved new senators, leadership team members, directors and committee chair members while passing a handful of resolutions.
"I think it’s important to understand and compare us to last year," said Student Body President Conor Flynn.
Flynn said last Fall, Student Government members and senators were pushing their own agendas and not tackling issues of the general student population. He said this semester, Senate focused on addressing student needs.
"You’re seeing a Student Government that’s united and working together," Flynn said. "We’re pushing the issues of the students."
Senate Pro Tempore Matthew Pearson said the semester was a time for the chamber, and SG to rebuild and gain experience. Moving forward into the Spring, he said he hopes to see more resolutions written.
In his State of the Body address Wednesday, Flynn applauded the Senate for passing bills and resolutions related to e-cigarette regulations, judicial subpoena power and Senate attendance policy.
Resolutions passed this semester included a November amendment changing college tobacco regulations to place e-cigarettes under the same rules as regular cigarettes.
The other two resolutions passed reinforced constitutional requirements and procedures for SG and Senate that Flynn said he hopes will allow for the chamber to function more efficiently.
Flynn also outlined three issues he wants to tackle moving forward: ending student homelessness, addressing tobacco use on campus and furthering sustainability.
Senate President Carol Van Houten-Daugherty said she wants to reach out to more students in the Spring.
"I hope we reach out to more students," Daugherty said. "That is the big thing on my agenda. I want to see more senators brought in and taught better."