‘Bridging the gap’ in senate

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Kevion Ellis has been elected as student body president for the coming school year at the University of Northern Colorado.

His campaign slogan was “Let’s bridge the gap” and his focus for the 2017-2018 school year is increasing communication between students and administration.

Originally from Paris, Texas, Ellis transferred to UNC his sophomore year. Now a junior, he majors in international affairs with a political economy emphasis. This year, he sat on student senate as councilor for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Ellis ran for student body president because of his experiences on senate, which gave him a ‘behind the scenes’ look at how UNC works. He was also motivated by the concerns he heard from students.

“This school year I’ve heard a lot of students say that they feel like our administration hasn’t been really present in student activities and events around campus,” Ellis said.

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To begin bridging this gap, Ellis said he wants to start meeting more with administration and informing students about the resources available to them through senate.

“I’m really about everyone feeling like they have a say,” Ellis said. “I want to bring people together.”

While the gap between administration and students is something Ellis plans to address, he said he would like make senate more involved in the student community.

Ellis has proposed that members of senate become representatives of clubs and organizations, emphasizing cultural organizations and human rights groups. He said ideally members of senate would go these club meetings, listen to the student voices of these groups, and then report back to senate in order to better represent the UNC community.

One challenge for senate Ellis said he would like to address is student participation with senate. While students often voice their concerns with each other, it can be more difficult to get them to share these concerns with administration.

“There’s always students voicing concerns, and we see the concerns of students,” Ellis said. “It’s another thing to go to administration and say, ‘Hey, this is a problem. Students feel this is a problem.’ Administration wants to see those students coming to them.”

To get students present in these discussions, he plans to make student senate meetings more inclusive. The current way meetings are conducted seem uptight to Ellis and he said he would like to make the meetings more open for discussion from other students, not just the members of senate.

“I feel like a lot of people don’t even know what student senate does,” Ellis said. “We have to appeal more to students, we have to throw ourselves out there.”

Beyond this, Ellis said he would like to challenge administration to also become more open and welcoming to students. This goes back to his campaign for bridging the gap and his passion for the student community.

“I really want the student body to know that I want to know you and I want to be involved,” Ellis said. “We are here for you as student senate. We want to join you in your concerns and your events around campus.”

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