New sophomore senator: Amanda Shine, ’19

By Amanda Weber

Assistant News Editor

The student Senate is a part of the Undergraduate Student Association, which is a group of students who have been elected as representatives for the campus community. The senators, once elected, take on a role of leadership and gain a whole new set of responsibilities, rather than just being a member of the general Canisius student body. As a member of the Senate, some responsibilities include being involved with several committees on campus, dealing with budget appeals from the many clubs/organizations on campus, and so on. The role of a Senator is one that requires time, dedication, and hard work.

Last week, on January 31, 2017, a new senator for the class of 2019 was elected. Lauren Shine, a History major and member of the Pre-Med program, was chosen for this recently vacated position, as the former sophomore senator had to step down. Therefore, Shine was afforded the opportunity to apply and ultimately earned the position. The Griffin was able to talk with Shine about her new role and what she hopes to accomplish as a representative for the sophomore class.

On January 31, the current Senate members heard from five sophomores who hoped to be elected in the vacant senator position. According to the minutes from the meeting, the candidates were asked several questions in order to determine their qualifications and make a decision on who would become the next senator. Some of the questions involved race-related issues and representing the sophomore class, while other questions were geared towards certain responsibilities that a senator has, such as the requirement to serve on two committees. The current members of Senate then gave their feedback on the candidates and came to a decision. This resulted in Shine becoming the new sophomore senator, a role that she is very humbled and excited to have.

“I was very honoured to receive the appointment. Everyone was extremely qualified and extremely deserving of the position,” said Shine.

Although Shine has been aware of Senate since she was a freshman, she did not apply for the position at that time. However, she received an e-mail the first week of classes that informed her of an opening as a sophomore senator. With some time at Canisius under her belt, she decided to pursue the position. Shine felt that, as a sophomore, she was confident in her abilities to take on this role and represent her entire class.

“I really do enjoy leadership roles and the opportunity it affords me to work with my classmates,” said Shine.

Before obtaining this new role of leadership, Shine already had experience in this area at Canisius. Currently, she serves on executive boards as the secretary for two organizations on campus: Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) and the History Club. As an executive for these two organizations, Shine is used to taking on a lot of responsibility. One of her many obligations as the secretary for both organizations include facilitating communication between those in charge of the clubs and those who are general members. She is used to bridging this gap and hopes to accomplish the same with members of her class and the administration. Furthermore, this experienced has assisted her in developing certain skills that could be helpful in her Senate position, such as time management and being able to engage members of the general student body.

“There is a lot of time involved,” said Shine. “I am also very well accustomed to talking to a lot of people and addressing concerns, and hearing what everyone has to say.”

As the newly elected sophomore senator, Shine is a representative for the entire class of 2019. Therefore, when voting on matters that are presented to Senate, such as budgeting appeals or the planning of campus-wide events, she is responsible for voting in the best interest of her class as a whole, not just for herself. As a senator, it is now her duty to reflect on the interest and needs of the entire sophomore class and make the best decisions based on that. Although this may sound intimidating to some, Shine embraces this role and believes that she has certain qualities that will assist her in fulfilling this position to the best of her abilities.

“I am very motivated. I am goal-oriented and I work very hard to achieve those goals,” said Shine. “I also think I am very approachable, and I would be able to address the needs and concerns of the students who come to me.”

As previously mentioned, as a senator, Shine has to be involved with two committees on campus. The two committees that she is most interested in helping are Public Health and Sustainability. For Public Health, she is most interested in promoting concerns pertaining to the health of Canisius students, such as encouraging more students to get their flu vaccines. Shine’s desire is to have a healthier and more aware student body. She is also passionate about raising more awareness regarding sexual assault and sexually transmitted diseases on college campuses. Although some find these difficult to talk about, Shine thinks that Canisius students need to be more informed about these issues.

“I want to shed more light on, really, an epidemic in college communities,” said Shine. “I think it is a very taboo subject that we don’t really talk about a lot and it needs to be discussed.”

Regarding Sustainability, Shine’s connection to this committee is a personal one. She is passionate about caring for the environment and promoting the use of products that are safe and beneficial to the world. One of the ideas that the Sustainability Committee has put forth is distributing reusable cups to students. Although Shine thinks this is a great initiative, she believes that they are not used to their fullest potential by students and wants to find a way to correct this.

“Unfortunately, it’s extremely under-utilized,” said Shine. “I think if you include more incentive to use it, then it will be more widely used and you wouldn’t have as much wasteful paper use here.”

Although Shine believes that changes would be beneficial, she also believes that the current communication between the members of Senate, administration, and the general student body is better than it has ever been. Although some may disagree, Shine does not want to make any drastic changes regarding the Senate and wants to work with her fellow senators in order to make the campus a better place for all members of the Canisius College community. Although this role has a lot of obligation and duties that go along with it, Shine is up for the challenge.

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