Student Union Senate confirms executive board officers, votes on Senate Money Resolution
The Student Union Senate finished its confirmation of executive board officers at the Oct. 2 meeting. Senators also voted on a Senate Money Resolution related to a voting drive this week.
The process for e-board confirmations was the same as in the last Senate meeting. Each candidate had two minutes to make their case to the Senate, followed by brief questioning from the senators. The candidate then left the room so that the Senate could discuss and vote.
Emma Fiesinger ’23, the acting Director of Community Engagement, was first to speak before the Senate for confirmation in said position. Fiesinger said that as a Community Advisor and Orientation Leader, she has extensive experience helping to plan events such as New Student Orientation, Homecoming, VoteDeis, and Pumpkin Fest.
“Emma really did play a huge part [in orientation],” said Sen. Tyler Hupart ’26, who attended orientation this semester. “I can’t imagine anyone else in this role.”
Chief of Staff Tyler Carruth ’23 presented on behalf of acting Director of Sustainability and Climate Justice Ana Mejia Cerdas ’25, who could not attend.
Carruth said that Cerdas worked with the building manager of an apartment she used to live in to place a recycling bin on every floor of the building. Carruth also said that Cerdas wants to transition the University to using renewable energy, specifically with renewable energy projects on campus. Cerdas also hopes to implement a gazebo on campus with solar-powered charging stations.
“She has the [union] administration’s full endorsement,” Carruth said. “She’s done an amazing job.”
Carruth also spoke on behalf of Monica Aponte ’24, the acting Director of Sexual Assault Awareness, which is a new e-board position.
Carruth said that Aponte is working with the Student Sexuality Information Service to hold an event about sexual safety, and that she also is working with SSIS and the Health Center to provide Plan B to students.
Rani Balakrishna ’25, acting Diversity and Inclusion Officer, asked that the Senate confirm her in that role. Balakrishna, who was one of the Racial Minority Senators last year, said that she has been involved with diversity work since high school, where she started a South Asian students association.
Balakrishna also said that she has been working since last year on compiling mental health resources in multiple languages for international students.
Lotem Sagi ’24 was seeking to be confirmed as Director of Residential Life. Sagi said that she believes that the accessibility of information on campus is lacking, and that the Student Union is a way for her to address that issue.
The Senate confirmed all of these officers by unanimous consent.
Jakey Zackai ’24, the acting co-head treasurer, asked the Senate to confirm him in that position. Zackai said that treasury is a “hard and thankless job,” and that he had done over 1000 hours of office hours as a first-year in treasury.
Zackai also said he is working on rewriting policies to make funding easier.
“I want every club to be able to spend all the money they are allocated by A-Board,” Zackai said.
After Zackai left the room, Executive Sen. Nicholas Kanan ’23 called the Senate into an executive session, meaning that all members of the public, press, and non-senator union members had to leave the room. After 30 minutes of secret deliberation, the executive session ended, and the senators voted 13 to 4 against confirming Zackai.
Noah Risley ’24 spoke before the senate, seeking confirmation as Chief Justice of the judiciary. Risley said that they’ve been in the Student Union since their first year on campus and that they plan on advising students on how the Student Union functions.
The Senate voted unanimously by roll call to confirm Risley.
President Peyton Gillespie ’25 presented a Senate Money Resolution to request funding for stickers and cookies to distribute during the Union’s voter drive on Oct. 7.
Gillespie requested $115 for cookies and $24.49 for two thousand “I registered to vote” stickers. The Senate first voted to expedite their vote on the SMR, meaning that they voted on it at the same meeting it was proposed rather than waiting a week. The Senate then voted unanimously to approve the SMR.
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