Any current student at Pitzer College is eligible to join Student Senate. All positions are either elected by the student body or appointed by the Executive Board. Most positions, including appointed positions, are filled during three different elections throughout the year. The largest takes place at the end of the spring semester to select members for the upcoming year. The other two are at the beginning of each semester to fill vacancies. Elections for the Executive Board take place separately, near the middle of the spring semester. Opportunities to join at other times during the year sometimes emerge if there are vacancies.
You may apply for both elected and appointed positions using the form below, which is open whenever an election is approaching or when there are vacancies. The application form will also be distributed via email. Applicants for appointed positions should submit a brief statement of their qualifications, while those running in elections may submit a blurb that will appear on the ballot. For more information about elections, visit the elections page of the website.
Application form to join Student Senate
For more information, contact the Vice President of Internal Affairs at senateVPin@students.pitzer.edu.
There are currently no open positions on the Student Senate. Vacant positions will be filled for the spring semester during the January election and appointment cycle.
If a vacancy occurs in an appointed position, then the Executive Board will simply appoint a new person to that position. That newly appointed member will serve for the remainder of the term of the original member. You can apply to fill a vacancy using the form above.
If a vacancy occurs in an elected position, then that position will be filled by an interim member until the next designated election period. Interim members are chosen by the Legislature; candidates submit their applications to Senate using the above form, and then the Legislature chooses from among them by a secret ballot. Interim members will be replaced by normally-elected members at the next election period—unless the interim member also runs in that election for the same seat and wins.
Expectations of Senate Members
Before applying or running for Student Senate, you should make sure you are prepared to fulfill the duties of your position. Student Senate typically takes at least two hours of your time per week, and it can easily take up more depending on your position and on how involved you wish to be.
All members of Student Senate are required to come to the weekly legislative meetings, which take place at 7:00 PM on Sundays. These meetings typically take a little over an hour, but they can range from as little as 16 minutes to as much as three hours.
If you are a member of a college committee, you are also required to attend all of its meetings, and are expected to take some time to prepare before those meetings. Meeting times vary from committee to committee, and may occasionally take up several hours of your week. To learn more about a specific committee, click here.
Members of the Executive Board and the Legislature are required to attend College Council meetings. These usually take place twice per semester, and take about an hour, sometimes more.
All Senators are also required to participate in Budget Committee meetings, which take place right before Senate meetings at 6:00 PM on Sundays. Class representatives must be present every week, and other members must be present when assigned.
Some senior members of Student Senate are required to serve on the Senate Elections Committee. This includes the Senior Class Representative, as well as the senior members of the Faculty Executive Committee and the Appointments, Promotions, and Tenures committee. The Elections Committee meets infrequently throughout most of the year, but may see an increase in workload during the four annual elections periods.
Members of the Legislature (and occasionally the Judicial Council) will also be asked to serve on special Senate committees, which are responsible for internal Senate matters. Attendance to these committees is required, although you can let the Communications Secretary know if you cannot make the meeting times for a special committee that you have been assigned to.
Members of the Judicial Council are required to meet whenever a case presents itself for review. The number of cases per semester, as well as the time commitment per case, can vary.
It is always possible for members of Senate to request that they are excused from a particular meeting by contacting the Communications Secretary. You can be excused for travel, illness, or emergencies, or other high-priority matters, but not for schoolwork.
All members of Student Senate are expected to uphold the Core Values and Community Values of Pitzer College. They are also expected to act as role models and student leaders for the Pitzer community inside and outside of the classroom, and must be positive and truthful representatives of the Pitzer student body in all Senate business.
Senators are expected to be respectful towards one another at Senate meetings, and should take the duties of their positions seriously. Members of Student Senate must also abide by all Senate and College policies, and should familiarize themselves with any rules that apply to their position.
Expectations for Members of the Executive Branch
Members of the Executive Branch, which includes the Executive Board and the Cabinet, have a wide range of responsibilities depending on their positions. Many of these responsibilities are crucial to the operation of Student Senate as a whole, so it is important that students in these positions take their duties seriously. Generally speaking, Members of the Executive Branch should remain in frequent communication with each other to ensure that shared responsibilities are fulfilled effectively.
Members of the Executive Board, which includes the President and all four Vice Presidents, each have a number of responsibilities specific to their position, as well as general obligations as part of the Executive Board. Members of the Board are required to attend all Senate meetings. There is typically at least one additional Executive Board meeting per week, and there may be times where the Executive Board has to convene for additional time. The additional duties of each member will also typically take up an additional hour per week.
Members of the Cabinet generally do not need to attend Student Senate or Executive Board meetings on a regular basis, but their specific duties will almost always take up at least one hour per week.