The 2013-2014 UNK Student Government
Welcome to the Associated Students of the University of Nebraska – Kearney (UNK Student Government) website. Whether you are a prospective student, one of our peer constituents or simply curious about UNK's Student Government, this site has been created with you in mind.
Our students play a major role in ensuring that the Kearney experience is something you will never forget. Here, you will find extraordinary access to shaping the University and its culture through involvement in student government. At UNK, our student government is highly involved in all aspects of University governance, and has the administration’s keen ear on a wide range of issues regarding student life, academics, and University policy.
The system of checks and balances is key to any effective governing body, and that is not wasted on the student government at UNK. Much like the federal government, our student government is comprised of an executive branch, a legislative branch, and a judicial branch. Each is charged with specific roles and responsibilities, and the students who serve on them take their job in that role very, very seriously. Furthermore, these are students you know; they are your friends, roommates, classmates, study partners, and teammates. This means that you can depend on them to get your voice heard even if you are not involved in student government yourself.
Student Government at UNK is very active in working for students. Please check the links below that provide information about events, elections, and governing documents.
Image courtesy of Baer Photography
The Student Body President & Student Regent; Vice President; and four constitutionally enumerated officials: the Chief of Staff, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Student Organizations & Affairs, and Secretary of Community Relations comprise the President's Cabinet. The President serves as the official student body representative to the administration and the public on behalf of the University of Nebraska – Kearney. He or she has the power to pass or veto legislation passed by the Senate and also serves as a student member of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. The Cabinet, chaired by the Vice President, consists of the four constitutionally enumerated officers and other directors, advisors, and support staff.
Students are elected to the Senate from each of the four undergraduate colleges at the University of Nebraska – Kearney and the University of Nebraska graduate college. There are also freshmen senators (elected in October), and deciding/pre-professional student senators. The Speaker of the Senate is the chief presiding officer of the legislature. The Senate has the power to pass legislation for the campus, approve new student organizations, appoint student representatives to Faculty Senate and other administrative committees, and perform any other duties concerning student issues or concerns.
The Senate meets at 5:30 p.m. every Tuesday in the Cedar Room of the Nebraskan Student Union. Meetings are open for anyone to attend. Time is set-aside for Public Comment, where any guest can speak directly to the Student Senate. For more information, contact the Student Senate office at (308) 865-8395 or the Senate Advisors at (308) 865-8523. If you are interested in running for a position in the Senate, please click the link below to access an application.
The Senate will only meet when classes are in session during the fall and spring semesters, and will not meet during finals week. Below is the current committee roster for the Senate; this group of talented individuals are here to represent the students at the University of Nebraska – Kearney. Feel free to contact any of them with questions or concerns you may have about UNK and they will happily get back to you as soon as possible. The Speaker of the Senate appoints senators to different committees; the members of each committee will be selected shortly after their election in the spring.
SENATE COMMITTEES & MEMBERS
Selections & Constitutional Review
The Selections & Constitutional Review holds confirmation hearings for Presidential appointments, conducts candidate interviews for Senate positions, and holds hearings concerning Student Government recognition of new or existing student organizations (RSOs) by reviewing the proposed constitutions of such groups. Senators in this committee:
Wilfredo Lopez, Chairman, CNSS
Jesse Zwiener, CBT
Nathan Evans, CBT
Rules & Ethics
This body is tasked with the duty of handling proposals for amendments to the Constitution of the Associated Students of the University of Nebraska – Kearney (Student Government) and the Bylaws of the Senate, handle legislation concerning procedural issues of the Student Government, guards protocol of the Senate, enforces the attendance policy of the Senate, updates an index for the Constitution of the Associated Students of the University of Nebraska – Kearney, is the initial body which considers articles of impeachment brought before the Senate, and acts as an investigative committee into the actions and ethics of Student Government officials and the possible misuse of student funds. Senators in this committee:
Trevor Lee, Chairman, CNSS
Tyler Cogswell, COE
Tyler Mickey, UC
Facilities & Campus Development
The Facilities & Campus Development committee is charged with the handling of legislation concerning the facilities, strategic planning proposals, and physical development of the University of Nebraska – Kearney campus. Also, this advisory board is tasked to establish and maintain relations with the Department of Facilities Management & Planning and the UNK Sustainability committee. Senators in this committee:
Tyson Lanka, Chairman, CBT
Mallory Ritthaler, COE
Natasha Angulo, CNSS
Courtney Wagner, CNSS
Student Programming Board
This commission is tasked with the duty of appropriating student funds to recognized student organizations (RSOs) that have submitted their budgets in accordance with the board’s guidelines. In addition, the Student Programming Board shall have the power to defund, for any reason, any student organization budget it deems necessary to defund. Senators in this committee:
Nicole Connor, Chairwoman, GC
Nathan Evans, CBT
Tyler Cogswell, COE
Student Affairs & Public Relations
Charged with planning and implementing the Student Organization Fair during the fall semester, the Student Affairs & Public Relations committee issues legislation relating to the general welfare of the student body, campus life, and student activities and concerns. It may also issue news releases, announce open positions in the Senate, and handle relations with local news media. The commission shall, by nature, be the most general, given its name. Senators in this committee:
Courtney Raike, Chairwoman, CNSS
Tyler Mickey, UC
Nathan Evans, CBT
Tasked with the duty of acting on behalf of the Senate and the student sody in matters of national, state, and local issues that affect UNK student life, the Government Affairs committee shall have the authority to issue written statements of approval or disapproval, news statements/releases, and other advocacy or lobbying activities regarding legislative issues and student interests on the national, state, or local levels. This committee will also serve as the Senate’s representation to matters concerning national, state, or local issues. Senators in this committee:
Natalie Jansen, Chairwoman, CBT
Jessie Zwiener, CBT
Tyler Cogswell, COE
Abbreviation denotes which college each Senator directly serves:
CNSS - College of Natural & Social Sciences
CFAH - College of Fine Arts & Humanities
CBT - College of Business & Technology
COE - College of Education
GC - Graduate College
UC - Deciding & Pre-Professional
FS - Freshmen Senators
The Court is the final and supreme judicial council of the student body. Its authority is derived from Student Government and the Constitution of the Associated Students of the University of Nebraska – Kearney. As enumerated by the Constitution, the Court consists of seven Associate Justices, a Chief Justice, and a Secretary of the Court. The President nominates justices to sit on the Court, who are then confirmed by the Senate.
The Court's responsibilities include hearing appeals for parking tickets; determining the constitutionality of actions taken by the Senate or the President and his/her administrations; settling constitutional disputes among students, organizations, etc.; ruling on student violations of University regulations/policy; and to perform any other duties concerning student litigation and adjudication.
During the fall and spring semesters, the Court meets at 4:00 p.m. every Tuesday in the Fireplace Lounge of the Nebraskan Student Union. These meetings are private, but you are welcome to attend if your case is being reviewed by the Court. For more information, contact the Student Government office at (308) 865-8395 or the Court Advisor at (308) 865-8523.