With the year coming to a close and students busy with term papers, projects and final exams, student body president Travis Hutchinson is proud of the things he has accomplished, the senate he has led, and the future he sees for our student body. “I am so proud of this year’s senate because they rose to the challenges that I . . . and circumstances . . . presented to them.”
Hutchinson feels that his proudest achievements have been working with senate to add student representation for residents of the apartments, formally changing the senate position of secretary to communications director, and changing the job descriptions of residents hall presidents so they can focus their energy on more than just event planning.
Hutchinson feels that his best known contribution as president of the student body has been to facilitate the current discussion of the Sabbath policy on campus. “We organized a committee that included students and professors to talk about this issue and have had some really great discussions,” Hutchinson said. “The student handbook needs to be reviewed when it comes to this issue. It hasn’t been updated in over ten years and doesn’t even mention Brock because it wasn’t built when this policy was last reviewed.”
Hutchinson believes he is more conservative on the Sabbath policy than others on senate, siding more with those who want to update the current policy instead of replacing it with a new focus. “I think Covenant does the Sabbath well,” he added.
Hutchinson said that his least known achievement this year has been the formalization of the capital expenditure fund which will begin after this fiscal year and will collect 50 percent of the student senate’s unused revenue each year. Thousands of dollars will be added annually to this account with the intended purpose of providing “senior giftlike” improvements to the campus (Hutchinson suggested the fund could be used to purchase speakers for the Blink or signs on the cross country trails).
Bureaucracy has been the most frustrating part of the job, according to Hutchinson. Although he said they are necessary, the many rules and regulations that change between departments (such as Technology Services and Student Development) at the college are hard to maneuver within and often require creativity to overcome, usually within short notice.
Although Hutchinson says he accomplished everything he had planned for this year, he wishes senate could have accomplished the relatively minor goal of uploading the paperwork in the senate office to their online database in an effort to go paperless and maximize efficiency in their limited space. Everything Senate currently does gets uploaded to their protected Google Drive.
Pushing senate hard and setting a high level of expectations for senators was the most rewarding part of Hutchinson’s year as president. As a passionate leader with an emphasis on efficiency, Hutchinson was constantly impressed by senate this year. Although a senior himself, Hutchinson is looking forward to next year and hopes that senate “gets the kinks out” of the new position of student apartment representative because “there is always something that comes up.” He hopes that the student apartments leader will build more tradition down at the apartments.
His last message to the next generation of senators is: “dream big . . . beyond your job description as a senator,” and constantly push “the whole senate to dream big and actually make a difference” in the Covenant community.
Travis Hutchinson has served on senate for three years: he was the first Carter Hall president as a sophomore, the senate treasurer as a junior, and the president of the student senate as a senior. Hutchinson is an economics major and is excited to begin his time in the competitive Unum Professional Development Program.
The best advice Travis has ever received from his time on Senate was from Matthew Pappas, a Covenant alumni who served two years as treasurer from 2012-2014. Pappas’ advice was that a senator’s time in senate is not about leaving a legacy, because after four years, no one will be around who remembers your name anyway. If most do not know who Matthew Pappas is, that shows he was, at the least, a prophet.