Student senate numbers dwindling

Half of Portland State’s student senators have walked away fromtheir positions since they were elected in April.

Of the 22 senators elected, 11 have resigned, six since fallterm began.

Matt Wallace, a former student senator, said he left becausesenators serve no role in the direction of ASPSU and the policiesit adopts.

“It’s a symbolic body and doesn’t represent issues.”

Erin Devaney, a Student Fee Committee member and senator, said alot of the senators students vote for during elections leavebecause they think they’re getting into something else and thenfind that “nothing is going on.”

Aaleeya Spence, a former senator, said she quit because thesenate does nothing.

“I don’t think it’s hopeless,” she said. “It could have ameaningful role in a wide variety of issues.”

Last year the role senators played in ASPSU was unstable, withsenate meetings marked by protests and allegations of sexual andracial harassment. With new president Christy Harper and vicepresident Ryan Klute, change has been promised.

Harper and Klute remain faithful to the role senators play asrepresentatives of students.

Klute said he wasn’t surprised at the senators’ resignation,which is a common occurrence.

“During spring term elections a lot of students are excited, buta lot of things can change in four to five months. Right now wehave 14 really strong members,” Klute said.

ASPSU is currently hiring new senators. A committee made up ofHarper, Klute and Erin Linell, PSU’s campus organizer from theOregon Student Association, is interviewing everyone who hasapplied for a senate seat.