Zack Weaver '16 wins seat on Student Union
Zack Weaver '16 won a position on the Student Union after a close vote in the elections for Village Senator last Thursday after former Village Senator Ha Raum Cho '13 was removed from the Senate after violating Senate bylaws on attendance to regular Senate meetings.
Following Cho's removal, the position of Village Senator had to be filled. "[A]s stated in the bylaws I contacted Derek Komar ['15], the student who received the second-most votes in the Senate election," wrote Student Union Vice President Gloria Park '13 in an email to the Justice. "I contacted him to see if he's interested in filling the vacant seat for the Village Senator and asked him to respond by a firm deadline, and he has not responded to me by that time."
Park added that a minor communication error in running the elections for the Village senator position occurred, creating the need for a special election to be held after the regularly scheduled election.
According to Weaver, he was not aware of the opportunity to run for the position until Friday, Feb. 1, less than one week before the vote. Weaver initiated his campaign on Monday for the Thursday election.
Out of 214 eligible voters, 77 cast a ballot, meaning that 35.98 percent of Village Quad residents participated in voting in this election.
"I appreciate the opportunity given to me by the Village Quad residents in representing them," said Weaver in an interview with the Justice.
Weaver plans to work on implementing changes to the Village Provisions on Demand Market hours and replacing a cracked ping-pong table in the Village, among other efforts and issues that might arise. "The Village is already one of the nicer quads, so in terms of quad improvement there isn't really a whole lot in the way of that that I plan on looking into or doing, but my eyes are always open, and my ears of course, to the constituency," he said.
Last semester, the Senate attendance policy set a maximum of three unexcused absences for a member to remain a part of the Senate, according to Park. By the end of the fall semester, Cho had accumulated four unexcused absences and therefore had to be removed from his position.
Cho explained in an email to the Justice that the primary reason for missing these Senate and committee meetings was that a close family member was battling an illness.
All senators were required under the policy to notify the president of the Union Senate, who is Park, of absences in advance in order for any absences to be considered and noted as excused.
"In order for us to vote on clubs, [Senate Money Resolutions], and other Senate agenda, we need to reach a quorum for us to start the meeting, so both [Class of 2014 and Executive Senator] Ricky [Rosen] and I take Senate attendance quite seriously," wrote Park. "Should a senator miss a meeting for personal reasons, he/she needs to simply communicate with me so that I can formally excuse them and understand the reasons for missing the meeting."
Park explained that although the attendance policy allowing an unlimited number of excused absences and a maximum of three unexcused absences had been previously upheld and was the policy in effect when Cho was removed from his position, the Senate recently passed an amendment to its attendance policy that has taken effect during this spring semester.
"Now, we will no longer be distinguishing excused and unexcused absence. We now have a maximum number of three total absences per semester because as elected members of the Student Union, we need to fulfill our duty to represent our constituents," she wrote.
Park does not recall the last time a senator had to be removed due to an inability to meet the attendance requirement.
"Usually when certain circumstances come up like this, they always communicate with me and I'm willing to work with them," she said in an interview. "If you're not even communicating with me, then that I think speaks for itself in terms of your intention and your heart behind Senate, and your desire to serve your constituents."
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