Gettysburg College's Student Senate is the primary governing and coordinating organization of the student body. Senate plays a critical role in representing student perspectives in the discussion of all campus issues. The Senate Body is comprised of seven Senators for each class year, elected respectively by their class, as well as an Executive Committee elected by the entire student body. These positions offer students not only a great opportunity to get involved in the college community, but valuable leadership experience as well. Senate meetings provide a forum for discussion about the concerns of the campus, both large and small, and utilize committees to respond to these concerns accordingly. Senate also oversees all Senate Recognized clubs and organizations on campus. These organizations have access to funding, publicity, and other resources that benefit their programmatic goals.
The Executive Council
The Executive Council of the Student Senate is comprised of the elected officers - President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer - and two additional members - Clubs Liaison and Parliamentarian - who are appointed by the elected officers. The role of the Executive Council is to oversee the internal and external operations of the Senate. They are responsible for setting goals and developing action plans to attain them. They meet regularly to hold in-depth discussion on issues before the Senate and to prepare for the regular meetings of the Senate.
The President of the Student Senate has two main responsibilities. The first is the chairing the General Senate, Board of Directors, and the Executive Committee. He or she is also responsible for representing the Student Body by serving on various institutional committees, attending various meetings, and creating strong relationships with members of the Administration and Faculty of Gettysburg College. The President is required to attend at least four meetings a week. The position may also require attending special events and activities of the college.
The Vice-President of Student Senate is primarily responsible for the inner working of the Senate, meaning that he or she is in charge of identifying individuals to serve as committee chairs as well as the senators who will serve on the committees. He or she is responsible for making sure both chairs and members are attending meetings and reporting back to the Board of Directors and the General Senate any relevant information they have. The other primary responsibility of the Vice President is to run three sets of elections throughout the year, in the fall for senior class senators and first year senators and class officers; in the spring for the new executive committee; and in the spring for sophomore and junior class officers and senators and senior class officers. Along with these primary responsibilities he or she can be assigned additional responsibilities from the President as necessary.
The Treasurer of the Student Senate has three key responsibilities. First, the Treasurer serves as the chair of the Budget Management Committee which is responsible for allocating $100,000 each year to Student Senate recognized clubs. Second, he/she must document all financial transactions of the senate in a detailed and organized way. Third, the treasurer must serve as a student liaison between financial services and the student body. The treasurer should allow at least 10-15 hours per week for the position while leaving more like 15-20 hours during budget season.
As Secretary, the main responsibilities are to take minutes during the Senate meetings and to call roll at those meetings. Along with roll call, he or she takes the attendance of clubs and senators to ensure that the Senate operates under the rules of quorum and that Senators are within their three absence and that clubs are within their four absence allowance. If the senators are in danger of three absences, the Secretary will notifying them. He or she will also inform the clubs liaison of clubs in danger of four absences. Also, the Secretary is responsible for the public representation of the Senate. This entails sending out the minutes, updating the Senate Bulletin Board, and providing utilities so that Senate recognized clubs can publicize their events. They attend three meetings a week which include the Senate meeting, Board of Directors meeting, and the Senate Executive Committee meeting. My last job is to make sure to support the other executive members.
The Parliamentarian position mainly consists of the Constitutional Review. This is the biggest responsibility that rests directly on the shoulders of the Parliamentarian. He or she is also responsible for answering peoples questions about the Constitution of the Student Senate, and advising clubs about their own Constitutions'. During meetings it is their job to ensure that proper Parliamentary procedures are followed, and to serve as an advisor on such matters to the President of the Student Senate. He or she may also be called upon to draft resolutions, and will be the primary coordinator of all constitutional amendments.
As Clubs Liaison there are many responsibilities such as club and organization registration and re-registration, website maintenance and correspondences between clubs and organizations as well as the Student Senate. His or her efforts revolve around building a community from a collaboration of diverse clubs and organizations, making sure that groups uphold the ideals of the institution and are able to provide students with a positive addition to their academic endeavors. The role of Clubs Liaison is a combined position which is based in the Office of Student Activities and First Year Programs and continues on to the Senate Executive Board. Attending activities and events is also a nice way of showing dedication and support of the students involved in clubs and organizations.
The Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of the Student Senate is comprised of the elected and appointed Executive Council, as well as the chairpersons of each Senate Committee. The role of the Board of Directors is to finalize the agenda for the regular meetings of the Senate, to report all committee matters, and to discuss all committee actions before they are brought to the Senate floor.
The Legislative Body
The Legislative Body of the Student Senate is overseen by the President with the assistance of the Parliamentarian. It consists of thirty-one voting members, which includes the Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary, as well as the seven representatives elected by each class year. All members of the Legislative Body are expected to discuss and evaluate issues and concerns with their constituents, to make recommendations and to take appropriate actions, to represent student opinion, to provide institutional feedback, and to serve on Senate and College Committees.
Each Senate Recognized Club and Organization is required to send a member to represent the club or organization. They are urged to offer their thoughts and opinions during open discussions, to provide updates on the club's activities, and to announce upcoming events.