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Training Program in the Works for Student Senate

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Written by: Communicator StaffApril 23, 2014

In light of the inefficiency plaguing the student senate, Senator Daniel Reynolds and others are working to develop a permanent training program for aspiring senators.

In a previously published editorial, the Communicator addressed the lack of training required to become a voting member of the student senate. Reynolds, one of the current senators who did not receive formal training, is currently enrolled in an OLS class specifically geared towards planning, creating and evaluating training done within a professional workplace.

In conjunction with that class and having determined a need for training within the senate, he’s been working to develop a standard procedure that he hopes will be finished before next semester.

“For me, initially, my training was ‘Here’s some documents, talk to me if you have any questions,’” Reynolds said.

This lack of training is not necessarily standard. Last year, Student Body President Bradley Crowe, then Vice President of Legislation, reportedly did a fantastic job training senators, spending time to provide one-on-one assistance whenever possible. However, Reynolds found this model untenable.

“I don’t think a training program should rely on one person, because what happens when that person changes office, and they’re not there anymore?” asked Reynolds.

To tackle this problem, he’s been working with Crowe and Senators Alyssa Hinderman and James Hoppes to create a workable training program. The primary focus of this training will be to help senators understand the voting procedure and give them a clear idea of their responsibilities.

“The whole objective is to make it where they have enough knowledge about what a senator does and how they operate, so that they can be at a senate meeting and actually vote,” Reynolds explained.

The current plan is to give applicant senators a pamphlet broken into sections based on content, such as a section for the offices, one for the financial guidelines and so on. Questions will be at the end to test their understanding with the correct answer and its location provided. Once they’ve completed studying the information, they will report to the IPSGA office to take an entry exam testing their understanding of the material, with a score of 90 percent (or whatever is decided) being necessary to serve on the actual senate.

“There’s gonna be some kind of barrier between someone that’s untrained and someone that’s trained,” Reynolds said.

The test will include a meeting with the Vice President of Legislation to discuss the material they did not understand to ensure comprehension and quality amongst the senators. As of now nothing is finalized and Reynolds is not sure who will ultimately approve and codify his program, but steps are already in place to establish what could be a permanent training program for the senate.

Story by: Sean Godfroy