Tess Hemmila — Staff Writer
At the end of the fall semester, Student Government had to say farewell to their chairwoman Senior Megan Van Den Berg. As the Student Government Chair, she was the face of Student Government and was in charge of planning and running their weekly meetings in Kuyper Loft. Van Den Berg is currently student teaching in California, meaning she is unable to maintain her position as Student Government Chair.
In her place, Van Den Berg handed off her duties to junior Staci Seaman. Seaman has seamlessly taken on Van Den Berg’s role and is already settling in to her new position as Student Government Chair.
The 15 remaining members of student government continue to meet regularly to discuss student concerns, to represent the student body in meetings with Dordt faculty, and to approve clubs on campus.
We asked Staci to talk about student government and her transition into her new position:
What is the purpose of student government? In the Constitution, our purpose is listed as this: “to pass information from the students to the faculty, staff, and administration, and vice versa, in order to promote positive communication and interaction between all groups.” From this definition, I would say that the Student Government’s ultimate goal is to learn as much as they can about the campus and then share that information with the students.
What made you want to be the junior chair? Last year, I served as an RA on campus – and I knew that I wanted to still be involved on campus my junior year. When presented with the idea of Junior Chair, I jumped at the idea! I was involved in Student Government in high school, and was reminded of how much I enjoyed it. It was also such a blessing to be able to have a work-study position that allowed me to continue my involvement on campus and further develop my character and leadership skills.
What has it been like stepping into Megan’s position? Megan is recognized and loved by many for her commitment to fun and for her role as Student Government Chair! Megan built a firm foundation across this campus and within Student Government. Because of her faithfulness, the transition of the workload was quite easy. However, there is no possible way that I will be able to “fill her shoes” and do SG exactly as Megan would, which is perfectly okay! Overall, I am beyond excited to work more with the Student Government members. Although I am still adapting to a new role, I am excited to see how I continue to learn and grow!
How do you think student gov is going to change, if at all? Overall, I think that Student Government will continue to do all that it has in the past. However, Megan was really big on creating better recognition for Student Government – and access for students to provide input. I think that this goal will continue to stay at the forefront, but I would like to see how Student Government can grow in its participation; as I would love to see more people become involved next year! Also, I would like to continue to build leadership and community in and among the members – as well as broadening it to Dordt’s campus.
What would you say to anyone looking to be on student government? DO IT! I love working on Student Government because I get to have conversations with faculty and administration, I get to share my voice in committee meetings, and I get to bring student concerns to the spotlight. Though nothing is perfect, I like to be a part of Dordt’s commitment to excellence! In order to strive for this goal, Dordt needs students to share their voice by giving honest feedback and sharing information with their peers.
What can students do to help student government, even if they’re not on the board? Drop by our office (Tuesday mornings 11:00-1:30), shoot us an email, or talk to one of the members in the hallway! We want to hear your thoughts about anything and everything! Each week, we meet with faculty or administration to discuss certain topics (i.e. parking, finances, wifi, housing, facilities, food, new buildings, etc). So if you have input – we want to hear it!
What upcoming events does student government have? On February 7th (Thursday), we will be having a Club Fair from 8:30-9:30pm in the Grille Area! Stop by to sign up for clubs, eat popcorn, play corn hole, and ask questions about Student Government!