In spite of strict limitations to gathering on campus preventing most student organizations from operating this semester, Student Senate is continuing its duties to the student body entirely virtually.
Secretary Bailey Hendrickson said because of the moratorium on student organizations hosting or traveling for events, no appropriations can be made until students can meet in person again.
The 98th Student Senate held its first meeting Aug. 25 on Zoom, and Hendrickson said future meetings will be recorded and/or streamed on Facebook Live. All committees are meeting entirely virtually as well.
“As an Exec Board, we decided it would be best if we held meetings via Zoom in order to keep our members safe,” Hendrickson said in an email. “Student Senate as a whole is doing everything we can to make sure that we stay on campus for as long as possible.”
The handful of vacant on-campus and off-campus representative positions from the spring were filled Sept. 1 through the internal election process, which includes nominations by sitting senators and a senate-wide vote the following week.
Freshman class representatives will be elected through the usual process.
It’s unclear what Student Senate’s role on campus will look like when its primary money-giving arm — Organizational Finance — is hobbled by COVID-19 restrictions, but Student Senate President Kirayle Jones has encouraged the group to advocate for preventative measures against coronavirus.
“I wear my mask so we can all continue to make great memories and friendships at a place we all love. Join us. Stay happy & healthy! GO BEARCATS!! #BearcatsCare @NWMOSTATE,” Jones tweeted from the @NWMOStatePres account along with a short video.
Hendrickson also spoke out about mask-wearing, saying she’s begging students to wear masks and social distance on and off campus for the sake of themselves and others.
“We understand there are major changes going on and we are asking that the student body remain patient and continue to do so,” Hendrickson said in an email. “We would also like to let the student body know that even though we aren’t able to meet in person, we want them to know that we would love to help in any way that we can. These are hard times and Northwest students care for each other.”
Freshman class representative elections are still going forward and committees beyond Organizational Finance are continuing with business close-to-usual.
“The 98th Student Senate’s primary objective is the same as past years. We want to always be the voice of the student body,” Jones said in an email. “We want to make sure we listen to thoughts, questions, and concerns of each student. We have to be there in these difficult and uncertain times.”