Meet the St. Kate’s Student Senate Leadership Team

The St. Kate’s Student Senate is the governing body of the undergraduate day students that acts as a liaison between the student body and the administration. The members of Senate are dedicated to advancing the University by providing a forum for students’ opinions to be voiced and heard. Additionally, Senate provides funding for opportunities that promote student development and leadership. Recently, The Wheel had the opportunity to interview the Leadership Team of the Senate and learn about their important roles. The three members of the leadership team are Soua Chang, Juliana “Jaie” Hillstrom, and Katie Zarbock.

Soua Chang ‘15

(W): What are you currently majoring in at St. Kate’s?

(S): I am majoring in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing and Management and a minor in Integrated Marketing Communications & Design.

(W): What year are you?

(S): I am currently in my senior year.

(W): What is your role on Senate?

(S): I serve as the Senate President.

(W): As Senate President, what are your job duties?

(S): My job duties are to attend the Board of Trustee meetings and University-Wide Meetings and report back to the Senate about these meetings. In addition to this, I, along with the Senate Chair and Senate Official, plan the Senate retreats, which are held once a semester. We are resources to Senate members as each committee works on its specific goals for their committee and as Senate members work on goals for the students.

(W): How long have you been active on Senate?

(S): This year will be my third year on Senate.

(W): If any, what were your previous roles on Senate?

(S): During my first year and second year on Senate, I was the Public Relations Co-Chair.

(W): What is your favorite part about being on Senate?

(S): My favorite part about being on Senate is working with such a great group of women. I am continuously inspired by all the hard work Senate members do for students. They each bring their own uniqueness to Senate. As a whole, I see each member as informal mentors. I learn something new every day. It is an honor to work with this group of women.

(W): Are you involved in any other clubs or sports on campus?

(S): Aside from Senate, I am involved with the St. Kate’s Activities Team (SKAT) as the Lead of the Publicity Team.

(W): What goals do you hope to accomplish while you serve in this position?

(S): The goals that I hope to accomplish while serving as the Senate President is to work with the students for the students. I want to enhance the student experience on campus and therefore, I really want to be accessible to hear students’ concerns, feedback, or questions. I understand that there will be limitations to certain requests, but I am more than willing to help provide some education on why we cannot accommodate a request or provide an alternative.

(W): What is one fun fact about you?

(S): I enjoy learning Coding in my free time.

Juliana Hillstrom ‘17

(W): What are you currently majoring in at St. Kate’s?

(J): I am majoring in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing and Management.

(W): What year are you?

(J): I am currently in my sophomore year.

(W): What is your role on Senate?

(J): I serve as the Senate Chair.

(W): As Senate Chair, what are your job duties?

(J): I am part of the leadership team, so together we cohesively lead the senate. I create and send out the agendas as well as run the meetings. I also have weekly meetings with the other members of the leadership team on Wednesdays, and then meetings with the rest of the leadership team and our advisors on Fridays. I serve as a point person for multiple committees and help them run smoothly. I also answer emails, take complaints, and help create change on our campus.

(W): How long have you been active on Senate?

(J): This is my second year on the St. Catherine University Student Senate.

(W): If any, what were your previous roles on Senate?

(J): In the past I have served as First Year Representative and Organizational Affairs Chair

(W): What is your favorite part about being on Senate?

(J): I have two favorite parts. One favorite part is getting to be a part of such an amazing campus that really cares about what the students want. It is so exhilarating to see changes take place because we were able to take concerns from constituents and voice them to the university. This university truly cares, and that makes me so happy. My second favorite part is that I get to see all of the senate members blossom. They are all such inspiring and motivated young women, and I love getting to see them all excel in their positions. They bring about so much change and I love being a part of that and being able to support them.

(W): Are you involved in any other clubs or sports on campus?

(J): I am. I am involved in Lambda Sigma Tau where I am one of our Sisters Chair, and I am involved in PRIDE.

(W): What goals do you hope to accomplish while you serve in this position?

(J): Honestly, the main thing I want to do this year is to take the words and advice that the Senate members are able to voice from their constituents and make something wonderful happen. After all, isn’t that what the Senate should really be about?

(W): What is one fun fact about you?

(J): I drive a ladybug. You can almost always find it behind Caecilian.

Katie Zarbock ‘16

(K): I am double majoring in Dietetics and Chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry and a minor in French.

(W): What year are you?

(K): I am currently in my junior year of college.

(W): What is your role on Senate?

(K): I serve as the Senate Official.

(W): As Senate Official, what are your job duties?

(K): As the Senate Official, I am one member of the three-membered leadership team that runs the senate. The leadership team meets twice a week outside of weekly Senate meetings–once in trio where the three of us discuss pertinent senate business and then one more time where we are joined by our wonderful advisers Deb Miner and Curt Galloway, who give feedback on the decisions we are making. In my role specifically, I help to teach parliamentary procedure and ensure its proper use during our meetings. I had a fabulous time teaching the parliamentary procedure at our retreat this fall with the “ice cream motion”, complete with ice cream sundaes afterwards. I also make sure the Senate constitution is enforced.

(W): How long have you been active on Senate?

(K): This is my fourth active semester on Senate. I spent my entire first year serving as first-year representative, fall of my sophomore year (was abroad in Spring) as sophomore representative, and presently, in the fall of my junior year.

(W): If any, what were your previous roles on Senate?

(K): I was a co-chair for a temporary, or Ad-hoc, committee on senate in Spring 2013 working to start an All-Women Open Swim Session. I was the key point person for the start of the All-Women’s Open Swim Session Trials and consistent sessions in Fall 2013.

(W): What is your favorite part about being on Senate?

(K): There are three things I love about Senate:

1) I love the group of dynamic, confident, and diverse women I work with on Senate. I first joined Senate to re-shape my idea of leadership, but it was the strong and influencing women I met during that semester that drew me in. Each member of the senate brings such poise and ability to her role–we truly become a body that can effect change.

2) I love how our leadership team equally shares responsibility. In most organizations, the president does most of the work and has the most authority and the other officers support him/her by fulfilling their specific role. In Senate, however, our leadership team tries to divide work evenly among the three of us and share the responsibility and authority as a team. Soua and Juliana both work very hard and it is a pleasure to lead the Senate with them as a unified team.

3) I love Ad-Hoc committees. Ad-hoc committees are temporary committees created to accomplish a semester-long goal created with the student body’s needs in mind. The focus is on issues students want to see changed and Senate tries its very best to make change happen in that semester. I love these committees because the chairs and members of the committees are vibrant, the issues addressed are timely and pertinent, and the progress unfolds before your eyes.

(W): Are you involved in any other clubs or sports on campus?

(K): In addition to serving as Senate Official, I am also the On-Campus President of the Social Dance Club, Supporting officer of Cru, a Christian fellowship group on campus, and when my schedule allows, I participate in activities with the French, Nutrition and Exercise Sport Science (NEXSS), and Chemistry Clubs.

(W): What goals do you hope to accomplish while you serve in this position?

(K): I hope to give an all-encompassing education to all Senate members on parliamentary procedure and foster an environment where motions are moved by representatives and senators as often as they are moved by the leadership team. I also hope to ignite Senate members to be active, effective leaders who fulfill their duties with passion and intention. The hope is to make a role on Senate a dynamic tool to enhance the student body experience instead of just a title or another item to add to a resume.

(W): What is one fun fact about you?

(K): I have been dancing since I was in kindergarten. I did tap, jazz, and ballet, and competed for two years on my high school dance team. Tap dancing was always my favorite–the rhythm, the syncopation, the expression–it was a good time. Now I love swinging with the social dance club and of course had a blast dancing for orientation in the dance choreographed for the orientation leaders.

If St. Kate’s students are interested in interacting with Senate members, they can stop by the Senate Office during office hours or contact senate by emailing senate@stkate.edu. Students also have a designated Senate representative for each class, and chances are, these representatives have already been in contact with students via email in regards to updating students on Senate activities. Representatives are also required to have one class meeting per semester, so students should take advantage of this and attend those sessions for more updates. This is also an opportunity for students to voice concerns or feedback.

Another way students can get involved in Senate is to attend the weekly meetings, which are Tuesdays from 12:00pm-1:15pm. These meetings are usually held in the CdC Ballroom or the Student Organization center. Students can sit in the gallery and participate in the meeting. However, they will not have an opportunity to vote since they are not sworn in.

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