At first glance, you notice a college student sporting an SMU Rugby t-shirt and a pair of accompanying gym shorts. He appears to be just another student strolling the bustling walkways on campus, but that student described above has an enormous task, and one he has pride in undertaking: representing every single student. Nathan DeVera, SMU’s Student Body President, believes in his work and dedicates dozens of hours to it.
However, the work he does is evident all around campus: from The Tent, a new Student Senate event, to representing students at Board of Trustees meetings. He also spends time meeting with constituents and student media to raise awareness on Student Senate initiatives.
What Student Senate Does
Student Senate helps fund all SMU student organizations. From the debate team to Mustang Heroes, Student Senate allocates funds to each organization, which help organizations put on events and engage in fulfilling activities. Senate also meets every Tuesday from 3:30-6:00 p.m. on days classes meet. Senate meetings are always open, and students are encouraged to come speak about an issue important to them in front of Student Senate. The body also deliberates new legislation and implements new activities for the student body, such as The Tent.
What President DeVera Hopes to Accomplish During His Term
One of President DeVera’s initiatives for the upcoming year is to create student senate positions purposed to direct students to specific resources for whatever goal or problem they may have.
“You need an active student leadership,” DeVera said when talking about the ideal makeup for Student Senate.
To help orient newer senators, DeVera passed legislation that gives categories and examples for future legislation. This gives future senators a possible framework to develop legislations and initiatives.
President DeVera’s capstone legislation for the upcoming year is an initiative to create a university-wide calendar that is easy to interpret and accessible to all members of the SMU community. Using an application called Corq, DeVera is working with organizations across campus to put their events on Connect. With this app, students will be able to view all events registered through Connect on a mobile device with easy-to-read color coding.
“We don’t want word of mouth to be the only means of communicating events,” DeVera said.
He hopes to trial run the app within the next two months.
How to Get Involved with Student Senate
If you missed last year’s general election or you have recently decided to run for Student Senate, there’s still hope. There are still many senate spots open to represent schools across campus. To apply, simply fill out the application on Connect, and someone from Student Senate will reach out to you for an interview. General elections will also occur in April, so you can run for any position then as well.
DeVera is optimistic about his term.
“I want my presidency to be remembered by what we did that really affected and improved the SMU community,” DeVera said.