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New student senate to host TEDx talks

TEDx Talks—an informational short ‘talk’ dedicated to spreading powerful messages, are planned to be held at PLNU with the help of Student Senate.

Last Monday, Student Senate created five committees that will focus on open hours, chapel credits for campus events, review for residential assistants, sustainability and TEDx Talks. Senior and ASB Vice President Austin Flanagan said that the ‘committees’ in Student Senate this year are more like ‘focus areas’ and this way senators can focus on specific goals.

The TEDx Talks will be hosted on campus and the speakers will consist of PLNU professors and off-campus speakers as well. Seniors Jacki O’ Keefe and Shannon Wills along with Junior Brittany West will be serving on the ‘TEDx Talks’ committee. If someone is interested in speaking at the event they have to go through an application process. Flanagan said the speakers will be touching on topics that share a common theme and the TEDx Talks will free for PLNU students to attend,but are also open to the public.

Ten days before the TEDx Talks committee was formed, 13 freshmen began their campaign for Student Senate. Five days later, 326 freshmen cast their vote electing Kayla King, Joseph Bravo, Forrest Case and Chimara Anyiwo who are four of the 16 senators that will be serving on Student Senate this year on Monday’s at the Fermanian building from 5-7 p.m.

Over 50 percent of the students in the Class of 2019 voted in the ASB Student Senate election. Flanagan said he was excited by the amount of students who showed interest in running for Student Senate this year.

“I was really impressed with all the senators who were running,” said Flanagan “It was a very competent and hard-working group. I was also really pumped about the number interested and the number [of students] who chose to run.”

Director of Community Life Jake Gilbertson, who also advises Student Senate, added that this was the most freshman running in recent years. For a student to run for Student Senate, they must first attend an informational meeting, and declare that they are going to run for senate. Then the students have approximately three days to prepare their campaign posters. After that, students have around five days to campaign before voting takes place.

Freshman Forrest Case said he expected a runoff election to take place.

“I was checking my email for any news of a runoff vote after class on Thursday[the day after elections] and the first email I saw was an announcement that the first Student Senate meeting was on Monday,” said Case, “I am so stoked and overjoyed that I won and I am incredibly thankful and blessed for all the other students in my class that elected me and made this possible.”

Four senators who were elected last Wednesday along with 12 other senators who were elected last semester in Feb. will be serving this school year. The senators include: seniors Jacci O’Keefe, Martin Blaho Shannon Wills and Austin Donavon; juniors Anna Viettry, Brittany West, Maegan Chalmers and Joseph Spelde; sophomores Tyler Marlow, Tenley Griffin, Matthew Januzik and Jonathan Malmin.

Senator Malmin said that he plans to let the student body know that they can come to student senate if they want to see any changes on campus.

“I want to set a precedent for how Student Senate is thought of by students. As a freshman I never heard of the senate doing much which is disappointing,” said Malmin. “I wish for senate to be seen as an entity that can actually spark change on campus.”

Senator Chimara Anyiwo said her goal for this year is to make all students feel welcomed at PLNU.

“I want everyone to feel like they have a home away from home at PLNU,” said Anyiwo. ”The transition to college can be difficult and challenging, especially being away from your family and home, but I want all the students that come here to feel a sense of community and have a place where they can be themselves at PLNU.”

Along with accomplishing the senators goals for this year, Flanagan said the TEDx Talks are planned to take place during second semester and more information about the TEDx Talks will be advertised around on campus in coming months.

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Jake Henry

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