USS voices student concerns

Kiera Manion-Fischer

Members of the Undergraduate Student Senate sit in the Student Center. CAITLIN PRARAT | SUMMER KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

The Undergraduate Student Senate is the student government and acts as the student’s voice within the university administration.

Katie Hale, executive director of USS, said the easiest way for freshmen to think about USS is to think about it like their high school’s student council, although with more responsibility and power.

She said the main function of the senate is to communicate students’ needs with the university’s administration.

“We’re charged with the responsibility of acting as representatives for everyone on campus,” she said, adding that it is difficult for just nine representatives to speak for such a large student body.

USS has nine senator positions, each with different responsibilities. For example, Jonathan Bey, senator for community affairs, is responsible for acting as a liaison between the Kent community and the students.

One of his duties is leading the Community Task Force, made up the mayor, city council members and students.

Bey leads the Community Task Force, or “Party Patrol,” which walks around the community a few times a semester and talks to students about responsible partying. He said if they hear a lot of noise coming from a house, they warn the students about Kent’s noise ordinances. Bey said he hopes to expand the task force this semester.

“We’re there to help them – not get them in trouble,” he said.

Hale said the senate is always trying to reach out to students in any way it can.

USS holds voter registration drives every year and pays for the college readership program, delivering free newspapers to areas on campus.

As citizens of Kent, Hale said students ought to register to vote.

“Freshmen should know that they’re living here, not just in the college, but in the city, too,” she said.

Hale said she is also planning to bring a big-name speaker to campus this fall.

Hale said her biggest priority this semester will be rewriting the bylaws to reflect the new undergraduate student government. She said she also plans to work with PARTA to expand the downtown bus service.

Bey said the student government’s expansion this spring will give new students a better chance to get elected. In the spring, there will be 25 new positions, instead of the current nine, up for election.

Hale encourages freshmen to get involved in student organizations, saying it is “one of the best things you can do coming into college.”

Contact principal reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at [email protected].


• Katie Hale – executive director

• Kali Price – senator for academic affairs

• Andrew Ljubi – senator for business and finance

• Jonathan Bey – senator for community affairs

• John Wetmore – senator for governmental affairs

• Michael Hammond – senator for research and development

• Megan Lynn – senator for student advancement

• Elizabeth Eckels – senator for student relations

• Jonithon LaCross – senator for university affairs

USS holds public meetings at 4 p.m. every Wednesday.