New Student Senate Takes Office

Out with the old, in with the new.

Covenant College’s 2017-2018 Student Senate took office last Wednesday with the exception of the senior class president, who is to be elected in a special election on Tuesday April 25. The new senate, which was elected by the student body—some last month and some last year— will be lead by Louis Metcalfe as Student Body President and Isaac Van Puffelen as Student Body Vice President.

The new group, though comprised mostly of fresh faces, includes four returning senators. Student Apartments President Katherine Scott and Class of 2020 President Erik Peeples are serving a second year in those positions. Metcalfe and Van Puffelen served last year as Communications Director and Class of 2019 President, respectively.

Metcalfe says that he is looking forward to his third year on senate. “I think we have an incredible team on senate next year,” he says. “I am excited to see what they can do both individually and as a team.”

Class of 2019 President Grant Kierpa is also looking forward to his time on senate. “I have already been able to meet with my cabinet members twice, and we already have a plan for what all we plan to do for the upcoming year,” he says. “I am full of confidence that it's going to be a great year full of a whole lot of fun.”

Kierpa isn’t the only student senator who has been preparing for his job: Campus Activities Board Director Nyra Johnson and Treasurer Elzabe Uys were elected in a separate election last fall so that they could undergo extensive training for their respective roles well before they took office. Metcalfe traveled with current Student Body President Jonathan Kelley to Wheaton College in March for student body president training.

While positions such as Treasurer, CAB Director and Student Body President have a more clear-cut and immediate transition, many of the new senators have yet to actually begin work in their new capacity. Michael Taft, for example, has technically taken office as the new Communications Director but is currently studying abroad. He will be able to completely assume his role once he returns to campus in the fall.

Others, such as Kierpa, might have big plans but currently can’t do much until they are given a budget in the fall. Building presidents and class presidents from the 2016-2017 senate are still hosting events and meetings as they finish out their allotted budget.

Van Puffelen is already carrying out one of his duties as Vice President—chairing the elections committee to hold a special election—after the Class of 2018 President position was vacated last week.

“Apply to be a student leader for 2017-2018 and consider this opportunity to serve your class,” Van Puffelen wrote in an email to juniors last Thursday.

Student senators are looking forward to representing the student body next year. “I want students to know that if they have a problem, they can bring it to senate,” said Metcalfe. “We can make the change they want to see, or advocate for them to the faculty.”