About Student Senate
What is Student Senate?
Student Senate is an official component of Oberlin's governance system intended to ensure a student role in College governance and administration. It is a group of fifteen students elected by the student body. Among other duties, Senate serves as an advocate for students to the administration and faculty. Senate also has some more narrowly defined duties and powers.
What specific powers does Student Senate have?
Perhaps Senate's most significant power is the appointment of students to the College's committees, which make many decisions about Oberlin's operations and policies. Student Senators sit on the General Faculty of Oberlin College, and thus discuss and vote on major policies in the same forum as professors and administrators. Senate also serves as a board of appeal for Student Finance Committee budget allocations to student organizations. In addition, Senate organizes student-led committees called Advisory Councils focused on issues of particular importance to the student body. Finally, both the Senate as a whole and individual senators meet frequently with administrators to discuss issues of importance to students and advocate for student interests.
How can students become involved in student governance?
The obvious opportunity is to run for Student Senate; elections are held in both the spring and the fall. Students can also apply for a position on a faculty or administrative committee or an Advisory Council. Finally, students can communicate with student senators, which is a good idea for those interested in running for Senate or serving on a committee as well.
Where can I find more information?
The Senate's constitution contains details, probably more than you really want, on the Senate's powers, responsibilities, and operations.