Student Association’s senators run in either the fall or spring semester and serve a term of one year. Of the 34 total seats, 15 are open in the spring semester. Those seats are further divided into different constituencies. Six senators each represent one of TU’s different colleges. Residence halls, apartments and commuters are each two senator constituencies. Greek housing has one senator. There are also two at-large senators. Since there were only eight candidates on the ballot and two running a write-in campaign, some of the seats will remain unfilled. Every candidate who ran appeared on the ballot was elected since no race had more candidates than positions to fill.
Previously a Senator for Greek Housing, Whitney Cipolla is now a Senator for the Arts and Sciences college after receiving 54 votes. Cipolla has also served as a secretary for Summer Senate and is currently the Sergeant at Arms. Because of her long-standing interest in student government, Cipolla found SA a “perfect way to work with fantastic students and staff while also bettering campus.” For her next term, Cipolla hopes to better serve the student body by adapting SA guidelines and writing “more legislation and resolutions that can make a difference on campus.”
The new Senator for the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Tavis Phan, has previously been involved with various organizations such as the Interfraternity Council. He received 102 votes and hopes to improve communication between students and SA.
The Business College will be represented by sophomore Ryan Lane. He’s majoring in energy management. He decided to run a write-in campaign after seeing that the position was empty when he went to vote on Wednesday. As a senator, his main priority will be to ban cigarettes from TU. He says this is “to foster a healthier culture on campus.”
Chase Cocking will represent residence halls. He received 41 votes.
Anna Rouw ran to represent the residence halls and received 72 votes. This will be her first position in SA. A freshman, she waited a semester to get involved with SA so that she could learn more about TU before taking a leadership position. Rouw is majoring in business management and political science. As a senator, she wants to increase students’ accessibility to information about SA.
Junior Matt Neyer was up for reelection as an Apartment Senator. He received 59 votes. Neyer, who served his first term in 2014, is a part of the Student Organization Committee. “It’s cool to see the new ideas for clubs,” he said, as part of SOC. While SA was different than he expected, he really loved being able to “help peers get most of what they need” in terms of finance. At some point, he hopes to become chairman of the SOC.
The other apartment Senator, Sirui Zhao, is a junior finance major. He received 43 votes. This is his first time in SA. “TU is an international family,” he said, and there are “some barriers between native and non-native speakers” that he wants to address. Zhao has experience in coordinating between international and domestic students as a part of the Chinese Student Association. When the Chinese Student Association held an event, about half were not Chinese. “This kind of party should attract more people,” Zhao said. According to Zhao, “if we can inform people of different cultures, we can use these activities to make people work together.”
Sophomore Amanda Calhoun won a write-in campaign. She’s majoring in energy management with a minor in finance. She is currently the secretary for both the Commuter Advocacy and Resource Society (CARS) and the Tulsa Energy Management Student Association (TEMSA).
Lauren Holmes ran as an at-large candidate and received 207 votes. She is a junior biology and pre-med major. Her freshman year, she represented residence halls, but she has since served as an at-large senator. In the senate, she serves as Clerk and Chair of the Student Investigative Committee (SIC). As clerk, she substitutes for the secretary when needed and is in charge of writing potential amendments to bills onto the board so that they can receive a vote. The SIC investigates possible problems around campus and tries to formulate a solution. Last semester, they introduced eight bills. Holmes is hoping that the committee will introduce ten this semester. Among them, she’d like to perform a survey to measure student enthusiasm for a frozen yogurt place in the Student Union.
The at-large write-in candidate, Miranda Dabney, is a junior English major and received 26 votes. While she’s never been a part of SA, Daphney is excited to “represent the entire student body.” “I have a lot of friends in SA,” Dabney said, “and they encouraged me to get involved.” Currently, she has no specific plans for her term and just hopes to learn what students want. As a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, Dabney knows of “issues with Greek housing and communication” that she would like to address. Dabney hopes to “be that voice for things that need to be improved.”