GUSA Roundup: The Eleven election meeting
Go ahead and give your GUSA Senator one—or eleven—of these!
Three hours and forty-five minutes. That’s where the second meeting of the full GUSA Senate clocked in. But the 21 Senators got the most out of their time, electing 11 people to various internal positions, including Adam Talbot (COL ’12) as the Senate’s new Speaker and Chris Pigott (COL ’12) as Vice Speaker.
Talbot and Pigott were both vocal freshman Senators last year and seem to be good friends. They gave each other ringing endorsements when the other stepped outside to be elected to his position. (Both races were uncontested). The personal relationships don’t end there: newly elected Parliamentarian Sam Ungar (COL ’12) is Talbot’s roommate.
There’s no funny business going on here, though. The Senate was aware of the love triangle that now dominates its upper offices. Ungar, Pigott, and Talbot were simply the best men for the job—with the possible exception of Nick Troiano (COL ’11), who led the Senate’s Transition Team.
Troiano has said from the beginning that he would prefer not to be Speaker, though. When nominated by a well-meaning Senator, he respectfully declined the nomination.
Troiano did, however, score the position of Chair of the Finances and Appropriations committee, which comes with the chance to sit in on Funding Board meetings—an excellent vantage point from which to continue his public war with SAC.
It was clear that the issue was very much on Troiano’s mind even this early in the year when he asked some very pointed questions of Director of Student Programs Erika Cohen-Derr, whom he had invited to speak to the Senate about the issues surrounding club funding.
The big debate, of course, is about the vast reserve funds that funding boards, and especially SAC, were found to have in 2008. Should SAC be allowed to keep so much money for a rainy day, or should it be handed out to help students now? Troiano would like to see the reserve funds spent to zero, and heading up the Finance and Appropriations Committee is a great way to start that campaign.
The meeting’s other accomplishments included electing the Senate’s first Secretary, Laura West (COL ’13), who will take meeting minutes and track all Senate legislation.
In addition, six Senators were elected to the Finances and Appropriations committee: George Roche (COL ’10), Matt Hoyt (COL ’12), Nicholas Nelson-Goedert (COL ’10), Colton Malkerson (COL ’13), Sandy Glassberg (MSB ’11), and Greg Laverrier (COL ’12). Two of the six, Roche and Nelson-Goedert, are veterans of the FinApp committee. Meanwhile, Malkerson, who represents Harbin, has already been pegged as a freshman to watch.
The Senate also passed two bills, one solidifying the structure of committees and another that permits Senators to use proxies, but no more than twice.
When the meeting, which started at 5:00, hit 8:45, the last bill was tabled to next week—regrettable, because it would have changed the process of filling vacant Senate seats from a special election to an appointment process. But nearly four hours of GUSA on a long weekend is enough to make anyone’s head spin.