Ednaly Jimenez was unanimously approved by the 2016-17 senate as Summer Senate President, but she didn’t realize until Spring term President Max Burns later surprised her with her position at the transition meeting.
“They were all laughing, and congratulating me on the position. I didn’t even know,” Jimenez said.
Despite taking the job unexpectedly, Jimenez is ready to lead.
Jimenez started serving as senator seat 1 on March 10, replacing Kevin Dobyns, who just graduated from the business school. As the new senate took office on May 25, Jimenez reapplied to continue serve on the senate and Programs Finance Committee.
The summer senate, including Hao Tan, Madison Moskowitz, Hassan Almumen, Blair Barnes and Awab Al-Rawe, is relatively new to the ASUO process, even Jimenez has only served as a senator for nine weeks. Tan was the freshman senator in 2014, but he didn’t have any voting power then.
Coming up on the agenda, the six senators will be meeting every two or three weeks to conduct ASUO business.
Jimenez said summer senate meetings will be less intense than usual, workload-wise and duration-wise.
“I was told to not be surprised if the meetings are 15 minutes long,” she said.
The senate will oversee a $5,000 surplus budget, and for the first meeting, Jimenez said there will be only one special request. Senate meetings during the school year usually last two to three hours, with senators voting on more than ten special requests each meeting.
Jimenez also said she expected the requests to be minor and less controversial than the ones during the school year. Many of them will be returning money to the surplus and transferring funds for upcoming retreats in the fall term, she said.
The senate will also transition its system from using Google docs to a Microsoft account, which Jimenez said is more secure.
On the other hand, the executive team, under the leadership of Quinn Haaga, will have a busy summer to prepare for the upcoming year.
In her recent email to campus community, Haaga said the priority is in advocating for affordable college – supporting ballot initiatives, bringing students to Salem and creating accessible online resources to educate students about tuition.
The ASUO executive is also looking into creating a pilot cultural competency training program for this summer IntroDUCKtion, which will enable incoming freshmen to contribute to the campus community as a more diverse space.
Accessibility and safety are also goals that Haaga is trying to achieve. She plans to work for more funding for carpool services, such as SafeRide and Designated Driver Shuttle.
“Supporting survivors [of violence] should always be a top priority for our university and is a sentiment that all university community members must hold,” Haaga said in the email. “We plan on supporting key resources for survivors such as the Domestic Violence Clinic in the Law School.”
Haaga, assisted by her two vice presidents Zach Lusby and Natalie Fisher, has been in touch with Vice President for Student Life Robin Holmes to lay out plans for these projects.