The student senate is in full gear as they scramble to reshape leadership and reform ideologies. A loss in leadership roles hampered the senate when it lost President Elijah Muhammad late in the fall semester. Mohammad’s abrupt departure from campus left many in the senate filling gaps in leadership.
The reasons for Muhammad’s departure remains unclear.
“The administration supports all students [and] wants them to be successful,” Michael Opoku, director of Student Development and Engagement said. Opoku assists the student senate on an administrative level and aided former Muhammad until his departure.
This semester the senate aims to find permanent replacements for vacant positions, with a unified attitude with its duty to both the college and its student constituents. Senator Josh Reiten served as interim president last semester in Muhammad’s stead, and continued to serve as interim early this semester.
On Feb. 4 student senate appointed “Silver” Musawwar Alvi as senate president and Rachel Bray returned to student senate as a senator. Bray was senate president from 2017-18.
Feb. 11’s meeting resulted in more leadership changes. Student senate approved Cody Palmer has a new senator and then later in the meeting as vice president of senate.
“Primary goals, as always are recruitment,” Alvi said. “We always appreciate new members and fresh faces to join and provide a broader student perspective.”
College affordability is a top concern for the senate. Many students have difficulty affording college and the senate aims to motivate students to participate in vocalizing their worries and write letters to their representatives to affect change.
“Tuition costs have been a major issue for many students on campus. We hope to draw attention to this issue and provide a platform for students to voice their concerns and offer feedback,” Alvi said.
The senate has also assisted with the Campus Cupboard, an ambitious undertaking for the college that assists students with food security issues.
“We are focusing on Lead MN’s overarching goal of food insecurity,” Alvi said. “We are dedicated to assisting the Campus Cupboard, raising awareness for them and establishing better name recognition. Students understanding what the Campus Cupboard is, and how to better utilize this resource is a primary goal of the senate.”
The senate has a general goal of returning to their purpose of being dutiful servants to the student body. Senators plan to close in on long established goals that will lift up students in difficult situations, represent their best interests and raise the quality of campus life for every student.
Opoku said it is important for the senate to have realistic plans.
“With a new semester, the senate needs to discern what goals are attainable,” Opoku said. Opoku offered words of encouragement for those considering joining the student senate. “All students can shine in the student senate, no matter their previous involvement.”
The fall semester was difficult for the senate as it recovered from an investigation regarding an earlier removal of Muhammad from his position and a high turnaround of senate positions. The senate intends to regain footing that was lost in the past two semesters, re-establish trust in the student body and work tirelessly for the betterment of all Anoka-Ramsey students.