The Senate election result for 2017-2018 academic year is in! Students voted and their voices were heard. Seats on the ballot were: Senate president, senate chair, sophomore representatives, junior representatives, senior representatives, and resident senators, commuter senators, international senator, and student parent senator. Some of the candidates are presented here.

Biftu Bussa, Senate President

Biftu Bussa, Senate President

A junior at St. Kate’s, Biftu Bussa is majoring in Public Health with concentrations in Health Science and Public Policy, along with a minor in Psychology. She will be graduating next spring.

“As Senate President, I must attend all Senate meetings and required committee meetings,” says Bussa. “I will need to prepare a monthly report of activities to be shared with the full Senate, maintain communication with administration and faculty, the student body, attend Board of Trustees, University Council, Minnesota Association of Private College Students, and other meetings as representative of the student body.”

While these will be just some of her duties, she will also serve as a member of the Organization Affairs and Financial Affairs Committees.

Bussa wanted to become Senate President for many reasons, however, there were two that made her decide she was going to run: giving back to the St. Kate’s community and the belief that every student has the power to make an impact.

“I have a strong desire to give back to the community that has given me so much,” says Bussa. “I think it is important to focus on the change we can make in the community as it is to focus on the change we can make within ourselves.”

Through her position, she hopes to continue strengthening the St. Kate’s community.

“It can sometimes be hard to see what we all share in common because the world around us tends to focus on what makes us so different,” says Bussa. “I want to focus on what we have in common while still celebrating what makes us uniquely different.” Above all, she believes the most important aspect of her job would be to make students feel comfortable and to bring upon changes that students deem necessary.

Students can get a hold of Biftu Bussa by emailing at or the Student Senate email at

Rahma Abufoor, Commuter Senator

Rahma Abufoor, Commuter Senator

Rahma Abufoor is a first-year student majoring in sonography. She is also an international student and has been in the U.S. for a year and a half now. She will be one of the four commuter student senators.

“I love St. Kate’s so far,” says Abufoor. “However, I felt like there are some things that can be tweaked and Senate is a good place to make those changes.”

Being a commuter student herself, Abufoor specifically hopes to make changes to the parking issues on campus. She realizes this is a common complaint amongst commuter students. Another common complaint that she hopes to address is the lack of lighting around campus. She hopes to be the link of communication from commuters to senate.

“If you are a commuter student you may not get highly involved with campus activities,” says Abufoor. “We want to be that person that students can go to for questions or information to help fill that gap.”

Commuter students can get ahold of Rahma Abufoor at

Sochenda Pen, Junior Representative

Sochenda Pen, Junior Representative

Sochenda Pen is a chemistry major graduating in 2019. She is one of the two junior representatives. She feels her main purpose will be to relay information from Senate to junior students and vice versa.

“I will serve as the person who relays information from senate meetings to students,” says Pen. “Once everyone is informed, then we can all decide on the best solution that will benefit all Katies.”

She would like to see more students get involved in the St. Kate’s community. Furthermore, she wants to focus on students who have never become involved before.

“In my freshman year I was a commuter student,” says Pen. “I felt lost and uninformed and it was hard for me to pinpoint who I could ask or talk to.” She cites her freshman experience as one of the reasons why she ran for Junior Representative.

She understands that some students may feel reluctant to bring up their concerns. Her idea to solve that is to have a drop box by the Senate office where students can write an anonymous note which would be addressed during Senate meetings.

Sochenda Pen can be reached at

Heidi Holthus, Senior Representative

Heidi Holthus, Senior Representative

Heidi Holthus is a biology major, graduating next year. As a senior representative, some of her duties will be planning a senior class meeting, communicating with students, and listen to the opinions and ideas of the senior class.

“I ran for the Senior Representative because I wanted to allow my constituents a reliable resource for their needs in the upcoming year, such as graduation ceremony requirements,” says Holthus. “I would love to help anyone who is looking for  specific resources on campus to make positive connections.”

She wants to maintain a positive communication line between senior students and herself.

“I want all the seniors to know that they have a dependable representative on senate who will represent them well and [am] open to any questions or comments.”

Heidi Holthus can be reached at

The Senate is not yet complete as freshman representatives are elected at the beginning of the fall semester. The Wheel did reach out to all representatives but not all responded.