A correction was made to this story Nov. 5 at 10:22 p.m. MST. A previous version of this story used an incorrect title for Brynlie Green as “ASW speaker of the house.” Brynlie Green’s correct title is “Speaker of the Senate,” or else referred to as “Speaker” or “Chair” for short.
A charter for the ASW senate was announced during the senate general session on Tuesday.
The charter would be a “comprehensive” and “current” guide to inform the jobs and responsibilities of senators, as well as provide an easier transition for new senate members, according to Brynlie Green, ASW Speaker of the Senate and justice studies major.
“Having [a charter] is just gonna help create a lot of cohesion between senates of ‘this is how meetings go,’ and ‘how to write legislation,’ and all of that, just to make sure there’s consistency going forward,” said Claire Mischel, ASW senate chief justice and biology major.
While other ASW branches and committees have charters or handbooks to help guide procedures and operations, the senate does not, according to Mischel.
“[A charter] is just another way to make sure that ASW is functioning as well as they can between years, and that there’s no confusion between different senates,” Mischel said.
Green said the need for a senate charter became especially prevalent after moving from an online environment to in person.
“A lot of the current senators have never actually seen a pre-pandemic senate meeting, and that’s a little bit of a barrier,” Green said. “Hopefully another pandemic doesn’t happen again, but if there’s anything like that, nothing will be lost in translation, and we can just pick up this charter and know exactly where to keep going.”
Along with senators, Green said students will also benefit from the charter, which will include a commitment to student advocacy, as well as a section for student resources to connect students with different ASW branches, advisors and legislation.
“I would love to see—utilized more—that students come in and are able to approach senators about these issues that they’re seeing on campus, or are able to get information about the goings on campus as well,” Green said.
Brendan Sudberry, ASW president, said he also hoped the charter would benefit Westminster students.
“I think [the charter] will help bridge some of those knowledge and information gaps that students have [about ASW senate],” Sudberry said. “If we have that information more publicly out and readily available […] of what you actually do in the senate, hopefully that will lead to increased engagement and more students getting involved.”