By Kim Stock
If you’ve never heard of the University of Calgary Senate, you’re not alone.
The mission statement of the senate is to "inquire into any matter that might tend to enhance the usefulness of the university." They are also in charge of honorary degrees.
Of the 62 senators of the U of C, two are elected students. Good odds for the four candidates in this year’s general election.
Jamie Liew, David Mercier, Melissa Tam, and Dustin Van Vugt are aspiring to be elected as student representatives for the senate this year.
Jamie Liew wants more feedback for the students as she perceives apathy to be a campus problem.
"What I see is that the senate student representative is a liaison between the senate and the community," said Liew. "My job is to reflect the ideas and values of students within the senate [and to] get students aware."
David Mercier recognizes the importance of the university senate.
"The Senate is a bridge between the community and the university," said Mercier. "I understand the plight of the student. The Senate is really important."
Melissa Tam wants to represent students with a strong voice, bringing student issues to light.
"A community is basically characterized by the educational institution within it, and in order to have a successful partnership between the university and the community, it’s important to understand the students’ point of view," said Tam.
Dustin Van Vugt says he wants to improve the university through the senate.
"The reason I’m running for the senate is because I’ve never heard of it," said Van Vugt. "Our purpose is to improve the university; I don’t see the U of C senate doing anything, and I’d want to change that."