March 26, 2014
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Another week, another Student Senate meeting! While this meeting was smaller due to various events taking place on campus, I feel it was still a productive meeting. For starters, the MAP Grant situation was discussed. This year, the MAP Grant cutoff was one of the earliest we have seen. In response, the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities will be hosting a Student Lobby Day on Apr. 30 in Springfield. Here, students will be reaching out to their legislatures, urging them to support the needs of college students. Millikin University will be reserving a few vans to take students to it, so if you are interested please contact Nick Brady for more information!
Another topic for this meeting was follow-up to the legislation approved last time. Senators are now allowed to chair committees. However, looking back, it was realized that this duty was just thrown upon them with no guidance, and those who know me know that throwing people into leadership positions without any guidance is one of my biggest pet peeves. So, we had a mini-training session about how to chair a committee!
Speaking of leadership development, as I am preparing for graduation like any other senior, I am also preparing to leave behind Student Senate. I am gathering up all of the materials, starting to compile the allocation packet, and making sure that I can make the start of the new presidency as painless of a transition as possible for him or her. While doing this, I am also thinking of some of those hard-learned lessons I had in leadership. If I could go back in time, what advice would I give to a new Student Senate President? Is there anything I wish I would have had in preparation?
There is one important pieces of advice I have for anyone at the start of their leadership career: listen to upperclassmen leaders. I’m not saying that to insinuate that I have a big ego or anything. That was actually the advice given to me. Throughout sophomore year, between being a First Year Experience Mentor and starting my time in Student Senate, many of the seniors in these positions were growing frustrated with the underclassmen in these various opportunities. The upperclassmen would give the new people advice, only to be blown off. Looking back, I realize that I would not be the student leader I am today if it were not for that guidance they did give. They taught me the tricks of working with my residents, the warning signs for a resident in crisis, and the importance of attending campus events and interacting with people.