SA Senate rejects EVP candidate

The SA's vice president for judicial and legislative affairs, Zack Speck, will not serve as EVP, a position SA President nominated him for. Olivia Harding | Hatchet Staff Photographer
The SA’s vice president for judicial and legislative affairs, Zack Speck, will not serve as EVP, a position SA President Andie Dowd nominated him for. Olivia Harding | Hatchet Staff Photographer

The Student Association Senate still does not have a permanent executive vice president.

The senate declined to nominate senior Zack Speck to serve as executive vice president for the remainder of the academic year. Interim Executive Vice President Thomas Falcigno will continue to serve in that position after senior Casey Syron resigned earlier this month, citing personal and health reasons.

SA President Andie Dowd, who nominated Speck, sat in on a 20-minute closed executive session during the senate meeting to answer questions about her nominee. Speck needed a simple majority to win, but lost by two votes.

Dowd said in her opening statement that she hoped the senate would nominate Speck because he has three years of experience in the executive branch of the senate. He is currently serving as vice president of judicial and legislative affairs.

“He’s served tirelessly in his role very well. He has the respect to work with the administration,” she said.

Some senators questioned Speck’s ability to help them set up meetings with top officials – meetings that can be key to getting senate resolutions passed.

Sen. Brady Forrest, CCAS-G, said Speck may not have the connections with top officials or the time to prioritize individual senators’ goals in just three months as executive vice president.

“With Casey, we lose a valuable asset and we’re looking for someone who can help us,” he said.

Forrest added that Speck might have an ethical conflict with the executive vice president position because Speck was president of the Joint Election Committee during last year’s SA elections, a claim which Speck rejected because he said the group only enforced the rules of the election and did not choose the winners themselves.

The senate also passed a resolution with a host of new rules for its upcoming election in March. The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Sean Kumnick, U-at-Large, reduces campaign spending and changes the number of signatures potential candidates must submit to the Joint Elections Committee before declaring candidacy.

Sen. Eric Beeler, ESIA-U, thanked Kumnick for his work on the 33-page resolution.

“I’d just like to commend Sean for putting all this work into the bill,” he said.

Sen. Rayhaan Merani, who joined the senate in October, presented an official proposal for a revamped model for funding student organizations, as well as new rules for the finance committee to follow during the spring allocations process and throughout the year.

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