Fireside Chat Millikin Style

Jacqui Rogers

This week I was asked how it felt when I was told that I should not approach certain topics or issues on campus. Have I faced these comments before: yes, a few times throughout my terms as Student Senate President. There have been times where I have been told while acting as Student Senate President that I am just a student, so I don’t know what I am talking about. I have been told that other people know better than me. Hearing this question this week got me thinking about those instances when I was told not to act on the student voice.

After hearing this question, I realized that the answer I had was probably not the answer the person asking the question wanted to hear. As Student Senate President, just like anyone else on Student Senate, it is our job to make sure that student concerns are being heard. It is our job to make sure, whether it is Student Senate or someone else, the student concern needs to be heard or addressed.

That is one of the features I love about Student Senate. Not only do we have the power to work with the student body and student leaders, but we also have the opportunity to work with the administration, staff and faculty as well. If there is a concern within the
College of Arts and Sciences, our College of Arts and Sciences Senator Nick Roberson is able to meet with Dean Brooks one on one to address the concern. We have the power to work hand in hand with the power players at Millikin. Vice President of Academic Affairs Jared Rixstine is able to communicate with the Deans of all of the Colleges about what needs fixed in the advising process.

Now that I am in my third year on Student Senate, I realized how much more recognition we are given for what we do. People at Millikin respect what we have to say. At the same time, I still feel like there is more room to grow as a community. I feel that this stigma that we are “too young to understand” needs to end. Students should never be told that here. If there is a reason for holding a position, that is fine, but use facts to support your specific argument. Never use inexperience as a reason to shoot a person’s idea down. Turn that into a learning opportunity instead. In the end, all parties involved can learn new things just by opening up and having these dialogues. Let’s put this performance-based learning to work.