What is a college campus without its leaders? Those who cast their vote for Student Senate president in last spring’s senate elections did not elect Jory Christensen. The people elected someone else—someone who did not return to campus this semester. As a result, Christensen was invited to step up from 2nd-in-command to Commander-in-Chief. He accepted.
Christensen does not shy away from responsibility; he is also a Resident Assistant at the new dorms, Chairman for Cub Camp, Vice President of Sigma Nu, and an intern in training with The Bridge - the United Methodist Campus Ministry. Spring semester will find him busy with Greek Week as one of three students on the planning board. When not leading, Christensen is a junior Biology major.
Christiansen is currently gathering a team of fellow politicians to tackle campus issues. One of their goals is to revitalize the Student Senate and its weight on campus. They have the support of students and administration alike. This semester will involve reconstructing the way Student Senate is conducted.
To assess restructuring options, Christensen is visiting other colleges to research their Senate roles. He hopes the students will become more aware of the impact their voice can make and that political leadership, such as the Senate, is a way to make that impact. Student parking is one of the first projects he will approach. Other projects include introducing a traditional ‘Dead Day’ during finals week and longer library hours.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Lee Krehbiel, Student Senate sponsor Dr. Todd Timmons, Stephanie London, and Alex Snowden are some of the faculty who are mentoring the new president and his team. The university recently brought in a consultant from another college to assist the revitalization process by reviewing the UA Fort Smith Student Senate and proposing a course of action.
Christensen regularly meets with Dr. Lee Krehbiel, vice chancellor for student affairs, to discuss the plans and goals, and meets weekly with UA Fort Smith Chancellor Dr. Paul Beran to discuss student opinion.
In his role as Student Senate President, Christensen also recently contributed a letter to the updated UA Fort Smith Student Handbook. The updated document has not yet been posted to Lions Link, but the 2008-2009 Handbook is still available.
For a copy of the older Handbook, look under “UA Fort Smith Quicklinks” on the Lions Link “Home” tab or in the left-hand menu under the “My Courses” tab.
For more information concerning the Student Senate please contact Christiansen at firstname.lastname@example.org, Dr. Timmons at StudentSenate@uafortsmith.edu, or Dr. Krehbiel at email@example.com.