UHV Student Senate gaining new ideas in Washington, D.C.

All members of the University of Houston-Victoria Student Senate and one of their sponsors are attending a conference in the nation's capital to learn leadership skills and get new ideas.


Kristen Lindley
"This will let us network with student governments from other universities and create ideas about what we can accomplish this school year," said Kristen Lindley, a UHV senior accounting major and the 2008-2009 Student Senate president.


Janet Foerster
Twelve Senate members and co-sponsor Janet Foerster are attending the American Student Government Association National Student Government Summit today through Sunday at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda, a short Metro ride away from the National Mall. More than 500 student government leaders and advisers from 120 universities across the United States attended the 2007 conference, and even more are expected to come to the conference this year.


"We're all excited about going," Foerster said before leaving on the trip. "This will be a real learning experience for the senators. They'll gain leadership skills and learn how to encourage the students at UHV to get more involved."


Forester is a UHV Student Services generalist who co-sponsors the Student Senate with Student Services Manager Minnie Urbano. The UHV Student Senate is made up of elected students who work to promote communication between students and administrators. The senators provide input on university policies and address the academic and cultural needs of UHV students.


At the conference, they will attend workshops about elections, team building, recruiting and retention, public relations, personal growth, improving student government and parliamentary procedure. They'll also take a tour of the U.S. Capitol.


Lindley said she's interested in talking to attendees from other universities about how to start a textbook swap that would allow UHV students to trade their course books at the end of each semester. Another one of her goals for the school year is to have spring Student Senate elections online, so shed like to get ideas from other students about how to accomplish that goal.


Juan Diego Martinez
Student Senate Vice President Juan Diego Martinez, a UHV graduate student, said he thinks the senators will get a lot out of the conference.


"Going to this conference is only going to benefit us by enhancing our leadership skills and learning how to present ourselves in a more formal way," he said.


This will be the second year in a row that Senate members have attended an American Student Government Association conference. Last school year, seven senators attended a two-day conference at Pace University in New York City.


UHV will pay for most of the costs of the trip, but the senators will pay for their own food, incidentals and sightseeing.


"I think this is going to be a really good event to bring the Senate together as a team," Lindley said.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler