Student Senate, a group of 15 students elected by the student body, works to ensure a student role in College governance and administration. Senate works with administrators and faculty to voice student concerns, and is the principal body of the student governance structure. The Senate as a whole and individual senators meet frequently with administrators to discuss issues of importance to students and advocate for student interests. Perhaps senate’s most significant power is the appointment of students to faculty committees, which make many decisions about Oberlin’s operations and policies.
Student senators sit on the General Faculty of Oberlin College, and thus discuss and vote on major policies in the same forum as professors and administrators. Senate also serves as the appeals body for Student Finance Committee budget allocations to student organizations. In addition to their weekly plenary session and office hours, senators participate in working groups, which make recommendations to the senate for discussion and implementation. Non-senators are welcome members of working groups. Examples of working groups’ topics include ResEd, Dining Services, textbook costs, referendum implementation, town-gown relations, and socially responsible investment.
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