BY AMBER WYKOFF
SC Staff Writer
Hectic and limited parking, budget cuts that personally affect students and faculty alike, and the consistent raising of textbook and food costs are only a few of the frequent concerns that the students of East Stroudsburg University must face every semester.
Students may keep their opinions on these matters to themselves, doubting if their suggestions for an improved campus environment could ever be acknowledged or taken seriously in a university so large.
However, there is hope for students who may feel as though their voices will never be heard.
This hope lies in 21 year old Amy Majani, member of ESU’s Student Senate.
Majani is one young woman who is determined to make sure that the opinions of her fellow students are heard by those at the school who have the power to make changes on campus and that the needs of the student body are not forgotten or pushed aside.
Majani, an exchange student who traveled to Pennsylvania from her far-away home in Kenya, is described by friend and fellow classmate, Bianca Deaza, as an “extremely well-rounded and intelligent person… [with] a mind extremely advanced for her age.”
Deaza attests that, Majani, who is both friendly and sociable with a ready smile and a pleasant attitude, makes people feel welcome and comfortable in their surroundings.
Anticipated to graduate in December of 2013 as a Political Science major with aspirations to become a lawyer, Majani is already on the road to success.
The impact that she has made on campus while attending ESU and serving as a member of the Student Senate is significant, though she would be the first to modestly wave away such praise.
However, Majani, like other members in her position, is committed to using her talents of communication to accurately represent the concerns and needs of the student body to the best of her ability, with passion and dedication.
Not always involved directly with student affairs, Majani began her college days as did many freshmen—doing her best to keep up with the swirl of a new schedule, new classes, and new friends.
At the time, the addition of an extracurricular activity like Student Senate seemed out of the question. Majani, remembering her early days at the university, says with a laugh, “When I came [to ESU] as a freshman, a few of my friends joined Student Senate immediately. Back then I [wasn’t interested]. I didn’t want any extra stress or pressure or anything.”
However, as time went on, Majani reconsidered, becoming interested in the leadership roles and campus involvement opportunities that the Student Senate offered.
“I wanted to see how things were being run in the school,” says Majani, reminiscing on how her interest for the Student Senate grew over-time.
“I joined when I was going to enter my junior year, since I really wasn’t that involved on campus as a sophomore. Student Senate kind of gives you that opportunity to actually put your hands into everything happening on campus. I thought I should join for that experience.”
Now, roughly a year and a half later, student senator Majani has taken full advantage of her chance to be involved on campus, speaking excitedly on a few of the events that she has participated in.
“We recently had Wiener Day, where we give out free hot dogs. That’s fun. And we have a Teddy Bear Drive where we give out presents to low-income families in the community. It’s a small way of making a difference… Making kids smile,” she said, before admitting with a shrug of her shoulders, “There are just so many [events]; I can’t think of them all.”
On a more serious note, Majani’s personal job as a senator also means that she sits in on the Academic Affairs committee meetings, as well as the university wide senate—a senate for faculty, staff, and students.
Majani is also a part of the Student Conduct and Faculty Board, which conduct student hearings.
Even with her busy schedule, Majani enjoys what she does in the Student Senate, and doesn’t forget the main reason why she is there, saying: “It’s the [Student Senate’s] job to make sure that the student’s needs and views are represented to the administrators, faculty, and staff. As a representative, you have to keep track of what’s going on in the committees and then evaluate how these decisions may affect the students. Is it good for the students? Is it bad for the students? …You bring [the concern] back to the Student Senate and then we discuss it and look for a course of action that would enable us to make sure that the students interests are at the forefront.”
According to fellow Student Senate member, Marisa Pagan, Majani is also good at keeping things in order during meetings—working to avoid communication breaches between the senate and the student body.
“Amy [Majani] always asks the right questions,” offers Pagan.
“She likes to make sure that the information is clear, and that everybody understands what is going on.”
Majani’s goal as a senate member is to give voice to the concerns of the student body.
“We’re out there to promote what is in the best interest of the students. That’s our main mission,” Majani says with feeling.
“When there are changes affecting students that might be negative or good, we either encourage it or discourage it, because our voice does matter and we do, to an extent, try to represent what the student body wants.”
Thanks to her own positive experiences in Student senate, Majani encourages others to also join the group–naming a few of the benefits that come with school involvement.
“It makes you aware of what’s going on around the campus community. It looks really good on a resume too, because you took the initiative to be a leader in your school and to represent students and their views. I would definitely encourage students to be a part of it.”
With members like Majani on the Student Senate, the group can continue to fulfill the goals of their mission statement by “…accurate[ly] represent[ing] the views of the East Stroudsburg University Student Body and provid[ing] services to individual students that will advance their academic and social progress at the University” (www.esu.edu).
Contact Amber at: