Tag Archives: ASLC Senate
The conversation of creating a student union on Linfield’s campus has been on-going for many years. However, senior Bradley Keliinoi, vice president of the Associated Students of Linfield College, is working to turn the idea into action.
There are a variety of reasons that Linfield has been without a student union, many of which have been addressed and discussed but not yet solved. Keliinoi pointed out two main reasons for the lack of a union.
The first being finances, and the fact that in terms of time and money, a student union is “not a top priority issue for the college,” he said.
With many restorations and renovations of existing halls on the list, a student union is not seen to be as vital of a project. The second problem he addressed was a lack of student initiative.
While it becomes difficult to reevaluate finances and change the priorities of an institution, Keliinoi has worked to remove student initiative from the list of obstacles.
Since last fall, with the help of former ASLC Vice President Katie Patterson, he has been working with the Campus Improvement Committee in Senate to “ask questions, seek out answers and develop plans toward a student union,” he said.
Early on, the committee discussed whether it should advocate the construction of a new student union, or the renovation of an existing building.
“After looking at past attempts to create a student union and recognizing the limitations in which we are working under, we decided that our best chance was to advocate for [renovation of an already existing building],” Keliinoi said. “Currently, we believe we can make a strong case to the administration that existing Riley Hall, with renovations, could function as our student union.”
During January Term, Keliinoi presented an idea to the head of the Campus Improvement Committee, sophomore Mariah Torres, who Keliinoi said has had an essential role in the development of the student union conversation.
He suggested that the Campus Improvement Committee go on tours of nearby college campuses in order to gain ideas and insight from seeing their student spaces.
On March 16, Keliinoi, Torres and members of the Campus Improvement Committee made a trip to Western Oregon University and Willamette University.
Keliinoi said the goal of the trip was to get ideas and inspiration and to help the committee realize that its goal of creating a student union is in reach.
“From the discussions I had with the committee afterward, I really believe the goal of the trip was met. We were inspired, we had ideas, and most importantly, we had an even greater dedication to this project, and seeing it through,” Keliinoi said.
He said they walked away from the tours with a more clear goal and vision in mind for bringing these ideas to Linfield.
“Our vision is that Riley Hall will become our student union—a community space for students to interact, study, hang out and actively participate as a member of this student body,” Keliinoi said. “We also hope that students will get behind this project and support the steps that will be necessary toward moving forward on this project.”
Because of the clarification of ideas, Keliinoi said that he believes the potential future of this project has been further realized.
“One of the biggest takeaways of the trip was believing that this project, creating a student union, is something that we can achieve,” he said. “Our vision moved closer to reality. Now more than ever, we believe this can and will be accomplished in the long term. We’ve laid the first bricks, and I hope current and future Linfield students continue to build upon the foundation we’ve created.”
Andra Kovacs/Senior reporter
Andra Kovacs can be reached at email@example.com.
Six new faces showed up at the March 5 Senate meeting to voice their support for the water bottle proclamation being voted on.
The proclamation, presented by the Campus Liaison Committee, expresses support for the removal of the sale of plastic water bottles on campus—a goal made by the recent campus movement, Tap That. The proclamation passed 9-6 votes after nearly an hour of open discussion.
Junior Collin Morris and sophomore Annika Yates, who have spearheaded the movement, attended the meeting to express their ideas and support their campaign. Sophomore Sylvan Tovar, juniors Katharine Holm, Rachel Codd and Kassie Russell, who have been working alongside Yates and Morris to educate and empower the student body, were also there. The proclamation, now with Senate’s support, will be voted on by the Associated Students of Linfield College Cabinet.
Andra Kovacs/Senior reporter
Andra Kovacs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Big changes have been made to Senate this year, including shrinking the size of its representatives and adding an application process to become a senator.
In prior years, clubs and programs have selected their own senators, however, the Associated Students of Linfield College found that typically many students in Senate weren’t as committed to their job as was hoped for. So, ASLC chose to make the process to join Senate more individualized. ASLC Vice President Bradley Keliinoi said he believes this new process will encourage more dedication within senators.
“By having this application process, we’re identifying those who are putting forth an effort to become a senator, who are displaying their motivation and desire to be in Senate rather than a club just sending a bunch of emails begging people to ‘Please, please, please be our senator,’ and getting students who don’t necessarily want to be in Senate,” he said.
In previous years, there were anywhere between 30 to 60 senators, however, Keliinoi said that typically there was just a core group of about 25 students who were active and engaged in their position.
Because of this, ASLC also decided to try out a new system of decreasing the amount of senators to a fixed number of 27.
“We thought that by shrinking Senate, we’d create a more engaged environment,” Keliinoi said. “We’re hoping that this way, senators will be more responsive to student needs and basically just make it a more efficient, productive body.”
Out of the 27 senator spots, the activities council is responsible for filling 19 positions. So far, they have received nine applications.
There were four freshmen applicants, four sophomores and one junior. There were no senior applicants, leaving the upperclassmen with many vacant spots to fill.
Although it’s not as many applicants as is needed, Keliinoi said that he was excited about the enthusiasm he saw in the applicants.
“Although few, I was very pleased with the applications we did receive,” he said. “A lot of them express interest in representing their student voice and they really wanted to get involved.”
Keliinoi said that he is still hopeful that the positions will be filled, since an issue for this year may have been communicating the changes.
“One of the problems is that some students may not have known of the changes,” he said. “For instance, some clubs still believe that each of them have to have a senator. Another reason is that some students just don’t have enough time to participate.”
Keliinoi, along with the rest of ASLC recognizes that it is the first year of changes, and there are inevitable problems ahead.
“Everything is so new this year that I expect there are going to be challenges in Senate throughout the year,” he said. “On the other hand, I think that some of the exciting things about being in Senate this year is getting to mold what a senator will do and their responsibilities. The senators this year will be able to build a foundation of what Senate will look like throughout the future years.”
In order to compensate for the changes that Senate has installed, their deadline, which was originally Sept. 14, has been altered to work on a rolling basis until the vacancies are filled.
“I want to encourage students to bring in their completed applications whenever [they can],” Keliinoi said.
Andra Kovacs/News editor
Andra Kovacs can be reached at email@example.com.
Whispers, cries of joy and congratulatory hugs were abound after President-elect junior Rachel Coffey and Vice President-elect junior Bradley Keliinoi were greeted with the news of their victories by Dan Fergueson, director of college activities, Secretary senior Sophie Larson and President senior Colin Jones inside Nicholson Library on March 8.
Keliinoi said that he was sitting in the library anticipating the committee’s arrival when he spotted the committee looking for Coffey first.
“I tried to prepare for both outcomes (winning or losing) the whole time I was waiting,” Coffey said. “I was in the library working on a group project, and we were kind of hidden — then I saw Colin [Jones], Sophie [Larson] and Dan [Fergueson]; all I kept saying was ‘Really? Really? Really?’”
Coffey received 62.7 percent of the vote to junior Katie Patterson’s 35.6 percent and 1.8 percent abstentions. Keliinoi received 71.3 percent of the vote to 28.7 percent abstentions. These percentages are based off of the 617 students who voted.
“I just had an overwhelming amount of feelings and emotion and it [the win] made everything with campaigning worth it,” Coffey said. “I went to my apartment right after I found out, and I was jumping around and screaming with my roommates because we were all so excited.”
Coffey said that during her campaign, she reached out to students in Dillin Hall and in the residence halls by door-to-door and leaving fliers.
“Now that I’ve come to grips, I realize everything that I need to do now — like hiring Cabinet and following through with my goals,” Coffey said.
She said she wants to work to bring together a diverse Cabinet that reflects Linfield students as a whole and said that she encourages students to apply or sit on the hiring committee. Applications are due March 15 at 5 p.m., she said.
“The best part of all of this is the support that I got from everyone and my roommates,” Coffey said. “It just shows that I surround myself with good people; they helped me get through these past two weeks.”
Keliinoi said that throughout the election, a lot of people assumed he was going to win, but he did not have that mentality during the process.
“I didn’t run under the assumption that I was vice president yet. Instead, I ran my campaign like I was running against someone,” Keliinoi said. “I’m proud of myself, and I tried to reach out to everyone with campus e-mails, links and fliers.”
Keliinoi said that he is excited for next year and looks forward to working with Coffey and hiring a Cabinet.
“I’m ready to hit the ground running,” Keliinoi said. “I’m looking to hire a wide range of qualified people that have passion and drive behind their ideas.”
Keliinoi said he also looks forward to working with Patterson and getting her advice during the transition, and he said he hopes that she continues working with ASLC in other leadership positions.
The presidential and vice presidential turnovers take place May 1.
Patterson declined to interview with TLR via e-mail shortly before the results of the winners were announced.
ASLC President senior Colin Jones said that a low percentage of voters typically turn out at the polls when students recognize that there is only one race with competing candidates. No primary election was held March 1 because no more than two candidates were running for a single position. This meant less publicity for the March 8 general elections.
“It comes down to the candidates and how much they campaign,” Jones said. “This year, ASLC did a lot more publicity than last year, but the key is to get candidates to run, not vote.”
Jones said that ASLC mandated that candidates create a banner in the past, but it cannot force a candidate to campaign.
The day before the General Elections, the candidates sat down in the Fred Meyer Lounge for “Fireside Chats” after the Senate meeting March 7.
Each candidate had 10 minutes to answer questions and elaborate on his or her platform goals. Dan Fergueson, director of college activities, moderated the chats.
Keliinoi went first and reiterated his goal of having ASLC become more visible to students and his plan of following through with discussions of the Cabinet restructuring.
Patterson reinforced her goals of working toward getting a student center, using resources such as the Communications Board to increase communication between students, faculty and administration.Coffey reminded students of her experience with Cabinet and Senate, and she acknowledged that she was ready to take on the challenge of the presidential role.
A few of the other topics that the candidates touched on were work study, getting along with each other once elected and ideas about the Community Outreach and Environmental Education (CORE) Coordinator.
Jessica Prokop/News editor
Jessica Prokop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.