‘Student Senate has the ability to make change’: Organization’s leader talks about its role, importance on campus

By Oliver Karasu Grey 

CHARLIE Green, a senior in the finance and accounting major, joined the Student Senate in his freshman year back in 2019. Determined to get involved at York, he felt the Student Senate was the place to do it.  

“There was a lot I wanted to do for this school and leave it a better place before I came. Being the president of the Student Senate allowed me to do this,” said Green. 

Being the president, he and other Senate members have a lot of responsibilities and authority within the college.  

“The Student Senate has the ability to make change, and we act as the bridge between the students and the upper administration,” he said. 

“So, we basically serve three predominant roles: the first one being we oversee the Student Activities fee.” 

Green went on to explain that the money students pay each semester contributes to the clubs that are scattered around Campus, as well as sports that students participate in. 

“So all the clubs and organizations on campus, all 100 of them, they’ll submit budgets to us and we’re the ones that help allocate and go do things they’re passionate about.” 

Meetings are held on Mondays at 5 p.m. in the William Walker Room in the student union on the lower level. The operation hours per semester typically run on Mondays as well, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

Green explained that the Senate acts as the road map for people looking to start a club, but there’s more to them than just club interaction. 

“The Student Senate actually has the ability for policy change. We work with upper administration,” he said. “I myself have connections with some of the board trustees of the college. We are the voice of what the students are showing.” 

For example, the closing of the Country Club Apartments on West Campus affected more than 300 students, and removed residences that allowed alcohol. 

Student Senate worked a little bit with the president’s office to get the Spring Garden Apartments to now allow alcohol for those that are above the age of 21.  

Things with the Student Senate aren’t always easy going, though. There have been some issues that they’ve had to press through.  

“I think the biggest problem is that it’s a bureaucratic process, so it’s not a snap of the fingers,” he said. “A lot of what the administration does here sometimes is they’ll wait as the next administration turns over, so once I’m done, the product hasn’t been completed. It typically goes back down to square one.” 

But what they might not be able to complete in big projects, they make up for in smaller but equally helpful ones. 

 “With that excess money from the student activities fee, we do small things around campus to improve it,” he said. “So the water bottle fillers you see in some of the buildings? That’s the Student Senate working with facilities to bring those to campus. 

“So, we’re going to put more in the gym and in Grumbacher, or in the nursing building, ,because the nurses are there for a long time and there’s not a good water bottle station.”  

Green noted that sometime he winds up filling the role of the “bad guy.” 

Says Student Senate president Charlie Green: ‘We are the voice of what the students [want].’ (photo is provided)

He said, “[The role] is hard and every time money is involved, we sadly cannot please everybody.” 

Still, while the Student Senate can seem like an intimidating group to some, it fills an important role on campus. Students are invited to attend the meetings and offer their opinion, and if they want to take the next step, they are always welcome.

“Take the leap of faith and join something you’re passionate about,” Green said in an interview earlier this year. “You get to have experiences you wouldn’t have staying in. Getting involved taught me a lot of soft skills that I’ll keep with me forever.”

For those wanting to contact, Student Senate, the organization can be reached  at 717-815-1391 or emailed at studentsenate@ycp.edu

Oliver Grey is a freshman at York College and is majoring in Professional Writing. 

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