May 20, 2020

Wayne State introduces new Student Senate

Student Senate is the official student government at Wayne State University. Made up of students from every school and college, its objective is to serve and represent the university’s students. Its representatives act as liaisons between the student body and administrators while implementing progressive methods to improve the student experience and support student success.  

The focus of the Student Senate’s initiatives is on facilities, community affairs, financial needs, government affairs, graduate student issues, student services, diversity and inclusion, housing/dining, and sustainability.

The 2020-21 Student Senate was installed on May 7; executive board selections were also made at that time. To be eligible to serve on executive board, senators must have completed at least one previous year on the council. The new executive board is as follows:

  • President: Riya Chhabra, senior, public health honors
  • Vice President: Marcella Eid, senior, political science honors
  • Parliamentarian: Basel Berry, senior, biochemistry
  • Treasurer: Jasmine Coles, First-year medical student, School of Medicine representative
  • Secretary: Madison Wiljanen, senior, nursing, College of Nursing representative
  • Director of Governmental Affairs: Sailor Mayes, junior, political science and communications,  Housing and Residential Life representative
  • Director of Community Affairs: Ameera Hashwi, senior, economics
  • Director of Student Services: Kamali Clora, senior, public health honors, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences representative
  • Director of Public Relations: Joseph Naman, senior, finance, Mike Ilitch School of Business representative


“I am very grateful for the opportunity to represent the student body as the new Wayne State Student Senate President," said Chhabra. "I am excited to continue working on initiatives that promote student interest and wellbeing." 

“It is an honor to be the new Wayne State University Student Senate Vice President and I look forward to creating and furthering great initiatives through the Senate to improve life on campus for all students,” said Eid. 

In addition to the nine executive board members, 15 other students serve on the council as senators at large. Some of these at-large members also serve as representatives for the university’s remaining schools and colleges. Senators at large include:

  • Afifi Kadadu
  • Amina Khalique
  • Basem Younis
  • Bijal Patel
  • Danishi Bedi
  • Hafsa Qureshi
  • Hussein Bazzi
  • Joseph Lemelin
  • Justin Verriest
  • Lela Jimenez
  • Mannat Bedi
  • Rajan Varmon
  • Regan Thorp
  • Sarah Christian Ducharme-Watts
  • Shaurya Pandya

Lela Jimenez, a senior double majoring in political science and peace and conflict studies, is among the newly appointed senators. Jimenez said she looks forward to doing her part in making Wayne State a welcoming community where every student feels they belong.

“I have always loved politics and, with my mom being a faculty member, I grew up on this campus. Being elected to Student Senate gives me the opportunity to make a change before I leave, and inclusion is my priority,” said Jimenez.

The 24 members of the Student Senate share the responsibility of participating in 19 different committees, where they collaborate with Wayne State administrators to enhance the campus-community lifestyle. The senators are overseen by Dean of Students David Strauss, who serves as the group’s faculty advisor.