Short-staffed and with new members, Student Senate is struggling


Senator Lidia Lara, Director of Finance Jesse Taylor, Student Senate President Deborah Hernandez and Parliamentarian Lorenzo Cuesta at the September 14, 2017 Student Senate meeting. (Photo by John Ennis)

John Ennis

Thursday’s Student Senate meeting began with a lesson on student government by Student Senate President Deborah Hernandez by reminding its two new senators that they need to write a bill to maintain and fix bike lockers on campus because students are running out of space due to construction.

“No one has gotten a response to me, and a reminder that Laurie [Jones] should not be the only one writing bills or consent actions or resolutions. You guys should start getting your feet wet and not make Laurie be the only one writing them,” she said.

Jones has served on the board previously and has experience writing bills. Newcomers Senator Lidia Lara and Director of Finance Jesse Taylor have not.

Hernandez also requested that something needs to be done regarding installing cameras inside the campus parking garage because of a number of accidents.

Parliamentarian Lorenzo Cuesta advised Hernandez to be more assertive when requesting board members to carry out assigned tasks.

“If you don’t show them what to do, it’s never going to get done, you have to assign them,” Cuesta said.

Cuesta’s role as parliamentarian is to advise board members on proper parliamentary procedure and debate during the course of its meetings.

“Hearing that, if no one reaches out to Adviser [Juan] Blanco to consult over those bills or resolutions, by next meeting time I will assign someone to write a bill, resolution or consent action…and I do not mean to be super strict, but we need to get these done,” Hernandez said.

Blanco is an adviser for the Associated Student Body, which covers Student Senate, Clubs and Events Board as well as the Joint Budget Committee.

“In terms of the bills and the resolutions that President Hernandez communicated with you all, it is important…these students are bringing up these issues, you are representing these students. They elected you to advocate for them, and so if we are not writing these bills or resolutions, we’re not meeting our mandate,” Blanco said.

Blanco announced that three students have applied as candidates for Student Senate and two for CAEB.

The campaigning period for ASB elections will be held between September 17-27 and voting will be held on September 26 and 27. Election forums will also be held on September 19 and 20.