In the year’s first Senate meeting, Executive Vice President Jake Caouette emphasized the importance of putting aside personal opinions and voting in a way that best embodies the groups that the senators represent.
While discussing senator expectations for the year, Caouette encouraged senators to communicate with their constituents and to speak with them about proposals.
Caouette also said that senators should avoid conformity and vote their mind, regardless of louder voices.
Connor King, senator of fine arts, added that it was important to ask questions so that senators can be in agreement with how Senate is being run.
During the meeting, Isaac Gundersen, ASSP president, stated his intention to continue to focus on human trafficking, an issue addressed by last year’s ASSP core. Gundersen said that a club, Set Free, is in the process of being created, and will center around the topic.
Senators unanimously passed a $1,489 proposal to fund Latreia’s Seattle Story event. The November weekend event will allow students to serve with organizations around Seattle while learning about non-profit work with hunger and homelessness in the city.
The proposal was approved despite concerns that the event had not been adequately publicized. Senators noted that Seattle Story was similar to an event that was cancelled in the spring because of low attendance, and expressed concern that there would not be enough sign-ups.
Matt Garcia, vice president of finance, explained that the spring event had been less publicized than Seattle Story, which attracted student attention at Involve-o-rama, and that Latreia had their own budget for publicity.
In an interview after the Senate meeting, Caouette discussed his goals for Senate and the ASSP core. He said that he wanted Senate to be good stewards of the money they’re in control of, and that the first step in being responsible is ensuring that each senator is able to share his or her opinion.
Caouette also said ASSP this year has been emphasizing that Senate is open to the student body, explaining that he hopes students feel welcome attending with concerns and opinions.
“We’re supposed to be representing the student body, so we want them to feel comfortable coming here,” Caouette said, referring to the Monday night Senate meetings.
Caouette said that a good relationship between ASSP and the campus can result in growth and positivity.
“We just want to be approachable,” Caouette said. “We want to be an active part of campus that everyone is comfortable with.”