The ‘Invisible’ Student Senate Makes an Appearance

Caleb Nelson

To de-clog the arteries of communication between of UMB students and their Undergraduate Student Senators, Neil MacInnes-Barker and fellow student senators created a complaints booth in the Campus Center.

“There is a lack of cohesiveness between the Student Senate, staff, faculty and most importantly students,” said Barker. “We need to be connected if we hope to be effective.”

The feedback Barker received from students ranged from comments about the quality and cost of food offered in the cafeteria, to reports of handicapped entrances that are not working. The number of responses from students was phenomenal, said Barker.

“This sentiment floats around that we have an apathetic student body,” he said. “I have found working at these tables this week that we have an extremely engaged student body. I just wish more senators would get involved in this.”

There are thirty student senators at UMB who advocate for student resources, encourage student events on campus, and control the budget for student clubs and activates. Go to the Student Senate website,, and you will find thirteen student senators with pictures and contact information; the rest of the profiles are mostly blank.

“It is tough to stay involved and really reach out to students when you have to go to class and work as well,” said Barker. “But when people are elected to the Senate by fellow students they should take the responsibility of engaging [UMB] students seriously.”

The concerns raised by students last week-all of which have been treated anonymously-will be read through and organized so that each one can be considered and addressed directly by the senate committees.

“Once we read these complaints, we’ll have a meeting with the powers that be-for parking concerns we will talk to the transportation department head, etc.-and discuss the issues that students bring up individually,” said Barker. “We want to work efficiently and effectively with the students and faculty at UMB.”