Student Senate FAQs

What is Student Senate?
Student Senate is the governing body of the Wartburg College student body. Senators are elected from each floor on campus to represent that floor and individual students on legislation and issues that are brought before the Senate. Senate is the “voice” of the student body. It works to enhance communication between students, faculty and staff, and represent our community through leadership and service.

What exactly does Student Senate do?
Senate introduces, debates, and votes on many issues that affect the student body. Pieces of legislation, or resolutions, are brought forth by Senators. The bike racks on campus and the Sunday night meal are just two examples of the results that Senate brings the student body. Senate has the power to affect things within its own body and has the power of recommendation to affect things outside of its jurisdiction. Senate is also responsible for providing funding for most campus organizations and granting supplemental funds for instances that arise outside of the normal allocation process.

When does Senate meet?
The full Senate meets nearly every Thursday at 11:30am. Most meetings are held in WBC 214- the “Buckmaster” Room. EVERYONE is invited and encouraged to attend each Senate meeting. Watch the Page for meeting location changes and updates.

How does a resolution move through Senate?
Most resolutions follow a similar path. Typically, a resolution is presented in typed form by a Senator at a full Senate meeting. After the resolution has had its first reading. it is assigned to committee (for more on committees, see below). The committee typically invites administrators and students affected by resolutions to speak about the proposal. After the committee has discussed the resolution, they relate their opinion and findings back before the full Senate for debate. Amendments may be proposed and voted upon. The resolution is then voted upon in its revised final form. It is important to note that resolutions from Student Senate are recommendations to Wartburg College and are not immediately adopted. However, because of the due diligence of student senators, and a continued strong relationship with administrators and faculty, Senate resolutions can be influential.

Are resolutions passed by Senate always adopted by administration?
Senate operates under the power of recommendation, which means that on nearly every issue, Senate is making a well-researched, heavily debated suggestion. However, because of the hard work of student senators and a continued strong relationship with administrators and faculty, Senate resolutions can be influential in the college governance process.

Can anyone attend a Senate meeting?
All Senate meetings are open to the general public. Students are readily encouraged to attend every Senate meeting, because Senate is the voice of the student body. At the end of every meeting, “Open Senate” affords everyone the opportunity to address Student Senate of any issue.

How is the Student Body Constitution amended?
Proposed amendments must be ratified by a 2/3 affirmative vote of the student body electorate. Proposed amendments may be put to the student body either by a majority vote of Senate or by a petition presented to the Senate by at least 25% of the student body.

Who is the advisor for Student Senate?
Dr. Deb Loers, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, serves as the primary advisor for Student Senate. Dr. Jennifer Pothast, associate professor of Mathematics Education, serves as the faculty advisor and as a special advisor to the executive committee.

How is Outfly determined?
Early in Fall Term, the college President and Student Body President select several potential dates for Outfly. As the dates draw closer, the President and Student Body President remain in active contact.

What do the committees do?

  • Academic Policies
    This committee is concerned with the academic welfare of the student body and the educational policy of the college. This committee is overseen by the Academic Ombudsperson.
  • Budget Review
    This committee’s role is to decide on resolutions regarding expenditures of the Senate. This committee is overseen by the Treasurer.
  • Diversity Committee
    This committee works to further diversity at Wartburg College through a close relationship with diverse groups on campus. It is chaired by the Executive Assistant to Diversity.
  • Political Action
    This committee focuses on addressing issues such as discrimination, racism, harassment, or sexual assault that affect the quality of campus life. This committee is overseen by the Academic Ombudsperson.
  • Senate Review
    This is an ad-hoc committee that assesses attendance and discipline issues within Senate and meets whenever necessary. It is chaired by the Student Body Vice-President
  • Student Relations
    This committee deals with all issues and events which directly affect student life. The committee keeps on top of campus issues and after obtaining student opinion acts to make sure that opinion is considered. This committee is overseen by the Administrative Ombudsperson.