Student Senate

Meet the Senate, who exists to communicate the needs and wants of our students.

Student Senate Spring 2022

Photo by Andrew Sloth.

Not pictured: Treasurer Liana Sweezer, Senator Babcock, Senator Chamberlain, Senator Johnson, Senator Kacik, Senator Patton, Senator Ragins.

About the Student Senate

Each year, 30 students from across campus are elected as Senators to help bridge the gap between faculty, staff, and students. Our job is to allocate funding to clubs and organizations, address living environment concerns, and overall, work to mold Coe College and its students' dreams.

Some of our favorite Senate ideas implemented on campus are:

  • LoCoe - an annual fall event that brings Cedar Rapids life to Coe with local food trucks and musical artists.
  • Menstrual Hygiene Project - to help anyone ever caught by surprise, Senate stocks all of the bathrooms in academic buildings with free tampons and pads.
  • Dropboxes - installed in centralized locations around campus, Dropboxes allow easy access to providing Senate with living environment concerns and feedback.


Student Senate is fully funded by the $142.50 Student Activies fee that every full-time student pays in their tuition each semester. Biannually, we allocate upwards of $180,000 to support clubs and the improvement of student life.

Meet the Executive Board

The Executive Board of the Student Senate helps to facilitate subcommittees and maintain order in meetings. At the beginning of each calendar year, student pairs are given the opportunity to run for the elected seats of the Student Body President and Vice President. The new leaders appoint the rest of their board with the approval of the Senate. The full Executive Board for the 2022 year is as follows:

  • Student Body President — Toby Lister
  • Vice President of the Student Body — Max Gorden Mercer
  • Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion — Celestte Orellana
  • Treasurer — Liana Sweezer
  • Communications Officer — Natalie Wilson
  • Recording Secretary — Cecilia Kintopf
  • Chairperson — Kaeli Gard

senate exec.jpg

The Lister & Gorden Mercer 2022 Platform

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
    • Work with the newly hired DEI director to hold the administration accountable to promises made to students, faculty and staff.
    • Increase awareness about bias incident reporting procedure.
    • Work with the new DEI committee and clubs to raise awareness about other cultures on campus.
    • Increase participation in the campus LGBTQIA+ SafeZone Training.
    • Continue to fight for student representation on the Board of Trustees.
    • Amplify marginalized community members' voices on campus.
  • Amenities and Residency
    • Upgrade apartment laundry machines.
    • Provide funding to the International Club, BSEO and Multicultural Fusion for updated furniture.
    • Increase parking on campus using the 14th Street lot.
  • Campus Safety
    • Fight for increased privacy in dorms, especially in bathrooms.
    • Fix doors around campus, especially dorms.
    • Increase lighting around campus.
  • Student Relations
    • Host monthly forums with the president and vice president.
    • Restart physical Senate Dropboxes to increase student access to the Senate.
    • Highlight events of clubs and organizations on campus to increase student involvement.
    • Expand emergency grant with SAA to provide for mental health services.
    • Work to increase international student representation and amenities.
  • Sustainability and Campus Greenery
    • Work with on- and off-campus eco clubs to improve Coe's approach on making a sustainable campus.
    • Meet with Sodexo and P-Plant about increasing accessibility for optimized recycling and composting across campus.
    • Increase the number of recycling bins around campus.
  • Projects
    • Increased parking near the 14th Street lot.
    • Demand Coe reinstalls the Black Lives Matter banner in a prominent place on campus.
    • Make housing free over Spring, Thanksgiving and Winter Break on a need-based basis.
    • Improve caf quality and options for those with food restrictions.
    • Creation of Business Professional Clothes Closet in conjunction with C3.
    • Continuation of the feminine hygiene project.
    • Push to continue the renovation of dorms and academic buildings.

For any questions involving Student Senate or your Coe experience, please contact

Getting Involved

At the beginning of each academic year, a petition will be sent out to the full student body and students who want to join must obtain a predetermined number of signatures from their residence community. Once that is completed, a school wide poll will be emailed out and qualified candidates are elected in by members of that community.

All meetings are open to members of the Coe community. Anyone can address their concerns during the Open Forum section of Senate meetings. Meetings are held every Thursday at 7:00 pm in Kessler Auditorium, and copies of our minutes are available on our Moodle page!

Governing Documents

Learn More