Smith and Richling to lead student senate for 2020-21 academic year


Whitney Winter, Staff Writer

As the semester takes a toll on everyone from home, the president and vice president electives for the Student Senate take pride in their 50.96% votes earned.

Elected President Adam Smith revels in his winnings.

“It was a huge honor to come out on top in such a close election,” Smith said.

This year more than 1,000 students voted for their top candidate picks: Kori Siebert and Taylor Gardner or Adam Smith and Jackson Richling.

“It was amazing to see so many people passionately supporting each candidate,” Richling said.

This year’s student senate election had the most votes compared to any other election in Wayne State College history according to Smith.

Smith and Richling announced their candidacy mid-January.

“We spent a good portion of February talking to clubs and organizations on campus,” Smith said “We also hung posters, and did basically every form of advertisement we could for our campaign. Then, in March, we hosted a town-hall event where students asked us questions about our plans, and we made a PowerPoint outlining our experiences and our plans moving forward.”

“Adam and I want to ensure that people of all walks and backgrounds of life have avenues to voice concerns, feel welcomed, and be supported on this campus,” Richling said.

He said the Student Senate should use every means to ensure every person and club on campus feels supported and heard. The Senate does a light-walk around campus to evaluate safety concerns from students when they are walking in the dark on campus. The Senate is able to speak with campus security and facility services about students’ concerns on their personal safety and how different types of lighting affect visibility.

Another concern students at WSC have is the severe lack of available parking. Smith and Richling commented that the college already has a commuter parking lot proposed to be built.

Richling and Smith plan to “bring the student voice forward by making sure our committee meetings are open to the public,” Smith said.

He said the topics discussed in the meeting will be shared to the student body prior to each meeting, so students have the ability to voice their opinions to the senate, for all to hear.

“This will give senators the information necessary to make confident votes in meetings, and will keep our senators connected to the constituents they serve,” Smith said. “It all starts there: making sure the students have the tools they need to bring their voice forward.”

The two newly elected president and vice president plan to “work with Network and Technology Services to build a senate online service where students can directly and anonymously send concerns to Student Senate,” Richling said. “We do not want the senate to be just a service for funding clubs, we want it to be that and so much more. By ensuring that Student Senators are ready and energized for this role and the student population is comfortably engaged and active with senate, we will really be able to ‘Move Forward.’”

Smith and Richling said they hope to make the Senate more transparent and accessible and they’re striving for changes in classroom experiences. Richling said Smith and himself “are really ready to connect with student and make sure that every experience they have here [WSC] is as exceptional as possible. That starts with working with professors and other educational professionals to ensure that the experiences in the classrooms is the quality that the students deserve.”

Adam Smith