The University of Connecticut Undergraduate Student Government senators discussed the responsibilities and roles of senators, how to overcome political intimidation and necessary skills for collaboration with newly-elected senators at their caucus meeting Wednesday night.
“I’m a freshman and I can remember how intimidating this is,” Senator Joshua Crow said. “Don’t be intimidated, ask questions.”
Senators Crow and Sandhya Sanapala presented a slideshow on senator responsibilities, position roles and agendas for the upcoming weeks. Once the presentation concluded, the floor was open for newly-elected senators to ask questions and current senators to provide insight on their jobs.
Crow said while new members may be hesitant to make mistakes, they should not let fear stop them from voicing their opinions.
“I would say it first is intimidating, legislative structure and Robert’s Rules and (you’ll go), ‘Oh I don’t understand what is this,’” Crow said. “Make sure this doesn’t get in the way of passion.”
Senator Zachary Corolla said while USG procedures were complicated at first, he did not let that stand in the way of his accomplishments as a senator.
“Learning the inner workings of USG was really rough for me. It took me up until last week to introduce my legislation,” Corolla said. “Transitioning into senate and into a committee chair was rough, but I think I'm succeeding.”
Corolla said a key to succeeding is USG is being able to listen at all times.
“Don’t come in with guns-a-blazing,” he said. “Come in with an open mind.”
Senator Xingyi Chen said it’s important for USG to strive to be an organization for the student body.
“Make sure to take the initiative and do something for the students,” Chen said. “That’s the responsibility on our shoulders.”
Once discussion concluded, senators gave new members a tour of the Student Organization Center, USG’s soon-to-be office for the upcoming school year.
Lillian Whittaker is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.