Next year’s Student Government senate met last night to elect their officers for the upcoming year. All new officers will start their positions in May.
Frank Harrison, who has been in the senate for four semesters and is currently the chair of the Student Concerns and Activities Committee, was elected senate president.
“I’d like to make this next year the most inclusive experience you guys have ever had,” Harrison said as he spoke to the senators elect.
He said he wants to make the senate more open and to get senators more involved.Jeremiah Pederson was chosen as next year’s senate president pro tempore. He is currently on the Rules, Judicial and Legislative Committee.
“I’m excited about the opportunities we are going to have this next semester,” Pederson said. “The students are actually going to see a lot of changes around campus.”
He also said that one of his goals is to make it easier for other senators to get their ideas off the ground.
“There are a lot of ideas out in the senate that a lot of senators don’t know how to get started,” Pederson said. “I want every idea that senators have to come to the senate Executive Committee.”
Three committee chair positions were also chosen.
Bilal Farooqi was chosen to head the Interim Funding and Transfers, which is in charge of SG’s budgeting. Farooqi said the was honored to be chosen for the position.
“Bilal, he is a hard worker,” student body President elect Maxon Victor said.
The Rules, Judicial and Legislative Affairs Committee Chair election was so close that a run-off vote was required. Originally there was a tie between current chair Jennifer Wilson and James Culp. After some debate as to how to deal with the situation, senate President elect Harrison chaired the re-vote, thus abstaining. Culp won by one vote.
“I plan to have the Rules Committee be a little more organized, there has been a little lack of decorum,” Culp said.
He inherits the chair position of a committee whose place in the senate is often up for debate. All bills reaching the senate floor must first be passed by the Rules Committee. Some senators believe the Rules Committee should vote on the merit of bills, while others view the Rules Committee’s job as making sure bills are grammatically correct and not frivolous.
Culp said he believes in the latter definition.
“Unless a bill is detrimental to the student body or is not ready and has loopholes, it will go to the senate floor,” Culp said.
Julie Baumann will lead the Student Concerns and Activities Committee next year. She has been serving as the vice chair of that committee and will be replacing senate President elect Harrison as the chair.
“Senator Baumann, she was born for that position,” Victor said.
Her committee is the link between the senate and the student body.
Next year’s senate will officially start on May 3.
The present senate confirmed former student body presidential candidate Silverlee Hernandez as the new SG attorney general. She has been acting as the interim attorney general for almost a month and replaces former attorney general Stacy Schnitzer.