What Does Senate Do Again?

 Katie Tingle working in the Student Senate office, photo by Liz Simakoff

Katie Tingle working in the Student Senate office, photo by Liz Simakoff

The 2014-2015 Student Senate has been asked repeatedly about the funds that each student pays every year. Most commonly the questions pertain to the manner in how the funds are spent and what happens if the money is not all spent. Beginning next year, Student Senate will chose a project around the campus that will fulfill a tangible need for the school and directly benefit the student body. In order to accomplish these projects the senate committee will use the excess funds each year to create an endowed capital expenditures fund that will continue to grow and allow us to purchase permanent and long-term assets for the school.

Our goals for the endowment are to provide a way for better stewardship of the unspent Student Association of Covenant College (SACC) funds, increase student awareness of Student Senate and serve a wide variety of students. On a more tangible level, we are aiming to purchase physical additions to Covenant’s campus and eliminate Senate’s surplus funds. While we will face some challenges getting started, the endowment is already being considered for approval by Covenant College’s Board of Trustees.

In the past, these excess funds have been dispersed into the institution’s larger budget at the end of the semester to fulfill other needs around campus. Creating an endowment will allow us to have a more concentrated focus on and more control over how the student body’s money is spent. This will hopefully result in more direct benefits for the students.

So far in this process there have been four senators serving on the committee. Travis Hutchinson, Student Body Treasurer, is leading the committee, and other members include Francis Bayly, Andreas Residence Hall President; Katie Tingle, Junior Class President; and Oliver Beers, Sophomore Class President. These senators have been working to solve any logistical problems, design the structure of the endowment, come up with possible projects, and ensure stability for future student senates.

In the future each senate will chose a new committee each year that will include several senate members as well as other select leadership positions. The finalized list of positions has not yet been decided and voted upon, but will be shortly. The aim is to have equal input from each contingency and we are hoping that this group of positions will provide that equality. These people will be deciding which projects to do each year. Since the project is dependent on the amount of money the endowment produces each year, there may a year where there is no project due to a low amount of funds.

For now, if there are any questions about any part of the process, you can email one of those four senate members serving on the current committee, or stop by the senate office during one of their senate office hours for more information.