Saturday, July 21st, 2018

Student Senate continues to fill empty seats

Sam Hill | The Free Press

Posted on October 04, 2014 in News
By USM Free Press

By: Alex Huber

The primary goal of the Student Senate so far this semester has been filling vacant seats and increasing their presence on campus, and they’re beginning to make progress.

At last week’s meeting the senate added two new senators and quickly replaced the treasurer position that was left vacant due to internal conflicts. During the previous meeting former treasurer Jason Blanco accused two executive board members on unconstitutional actions and resigned immediately afterward.

In the wake of Blanco’s resignation the senate is pressing on by voting in Senator Ashley Rose, a member of the senate’s finance committee as the new senate treasurer. Rose and Senator Tom Bahun were both nominated for the position, each having significant experience in dealing with finances. Rose was already a part of the finance committee and Bahun serves as the treasurer of the Board of Student Organizations. Both Bahun and Rose have experience with accounting for numerous groups outside of the university.

Bahun’s position with the BSO was brought up during the deliberation by Kyle Frazier, the student body president, who did not think it was wise to have Bahun leave his position at the BSO for the senate.

“I don’t think rocking the BSO again is the best option right now,” said Frazier, noting that the BSO has been running smoothly and it would not be wise of the senate to make them look for a new executive board member.

Constitutionally, students are not allowed to hold multiple stipend positions, so Bahun would’ve had to resign from BSO to receive a stipend for the senate treasurer position.

Senator Matt Wilkinson, who also chairs the BSO, said he was comfortable letting Bahun take the position, even if it meant he had to find someone to take his place.

“I’m fully confident that we could find someone capable,” Wilkinson said during discussion while the two candidates were out of the room.

No one had any doubt in either of the candidates’ abilities; however, senators wanted to make sure that they were looking out for the entire Student Government Association, not just the senate.

A secret ballot was cast where Rose was elected by a majority vote. As the senate treasurer, she is now responsible for overseeing the SGA’s budget and advising other groups on financial matters.

In addition to filling the treasurer spot, two new senators were appointed to the senate. Scott Reiner and John Jackson joined the senate filling the empty seats left behind by former senators who were removed due to attendance issues this semester. The two new senators were elected by a nearly unanimous vote. Senator  Jackson was appointed to the student affairs committee while Reiner was appointed to the public affairs committee. Both cited the recent budget deficit and dismissal of faculty last spring as reasons for joining the senate.

After the appointments, the senate spoke at length about increasing their presence on campus, speaking about ideas such as creating public profiles of themselves, creating a forum for students to voice their concerns without having to attend senate meeting and better tending to senate entities and student groups.

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