Senate springs into ‘semester of change’

Clarion, Pa.- Several student senate positions remained empty beginning this spring semester, calling for what Senate president Marissa Kealey says is  a “season of change.”

At the end of the fall semester, senate said goodbye to three members, Elizabeth Haines, Todd Garrett and William Vanderbilt, who resigned due to academic reasons.

At the Monday, Jan. 26 meeting, a fourth member, Kyle McWreath, presented his letter of resignation in correspondence to an internship opportunity.

“It was a pleasure working with everybody, and I am terribly sad to leave,” stated McWreath, “but this internship is a grand opportunity that I wouldn’t want to pass up.”

Senate will be losing another senator seat, as another senator plans to steps up to become the new student trustee, replacing current student trustee Darren Young.

Senate did welcome two new members to the group, freshman Katherine Welsh and sophomore Sarah Hrubetz. Welsh, a political science major, joined the senate at the end of the fall semester to fill the vacant seat left by former senator Terrell Fields.

Hrubetz, a mathematics major, will be filling one of the three vacancies left by resigning members from the fall semester.

“We lost senators at the end of last semester, and then at our first meeting we lost another one,” added Kealey, who as president, has set the goal to rebuild the group as the semester progresses. 

“In addition to that,” she continued, “some of the members of the executive board has classes that the times run into the senate meeting, and the treasurer is working on her externship for speech pathology in Erie. This is the hand we were dealt, and we just need to do our best to make everything work. 

“Things are changing, hence the season of change,” said Kealey.  By the end of February we could have four new senators, new committees and new committee chairs.”

Kealey encourages people who are interested in senate to reach out, to start the rebuilding process of the group as student senate as well as friends.

Kealey acknowledges the many changes that have occurred with senate over the course of the fall semester and hopes that new members will join soon and get to know current senators.

She said, “I can’t expect a bunch of strangers to be thrown together and hope we can get along and feel comfortable with each other. 

“When we have all the seats filled, and the committees worked out, then we can focus on the relationship building within Senate so we can be successful.”

Despite the intial setbacks that the spring semester bought them, senators are excited to work together through another semester.

Kealey concluded, “We are the voice of the students. It thrills me when a senator speaks up during a meeting, or shares their ideas with me afterward.  It lets me know that they actually do want to be here, and they care about what they do. If they don’t speak up, we don’t know what they are thinking.”

If any student is interested in joining student senate or would like to know more, send an email to

Student Senate meetings are held every Monday in 246 Gemmell at 7:30 p.m. All meetings are open to students, staff and the local community.

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