SA Senate passes legislation to expand executive cabinet, fills vacancies

Student Association Senators passed legislation to expand the executive cabinet and filled senate and cabinet vacancies at their meeting Monday.

The senate unanimously passed the No Hippos Left Behind Act and the We Respect GW’s Alumni and Graduate Students Act, adding multiple executive secretary positions to the cabinet. Summer senate meetings have been largely focused on filling the 23 vacancies in the senate as President Christian Zidouemba’s new executive cabinet members transition into their new roles.

The No Hippos Left Behind Act adds an executive secretary of accessibility advocacy and an executive secretary of dining services to the cabinet. In a public comment submitted to the senate, Izzy Brophy, acting executive secretary of dining services, urged the senate to pass the Act to heighten accountability within the GW departments that handle accessibility and dining on campus.

“Without the implementation of these positions, I am concerned that the needs and well-being of GW students will continue to be unmet,” her statement reads.

The We Respect GW’s Alumni and Graduate Students Act establishes an executive secretary of alumni relations and splits the responsibilities of the executive secretary of academic affairs into graduate and undergraduate positions.

Senators also approved junior Zak Zethner for executive secretary of community and government regulations, junior Abigail Francis for executive secretary of undergraduate academic affairs and junior Sophia Caione for executive secretary of undergraduate student life.

The senate confirmed Zethner as executive secretary of internal affairs in their last meeting, but with the new confirmation Zethner now holds two secretary positions in Zidouemba’s cabinet.

Zidouemba has eleven remaining cabinet positions to fill.

The senate voted to approve ten candidates to fill senate vacancies.

Five of the senate candidates have previously worked for the military and are considered nontraditional students. Newly elected Sen. Taylor Kilmer, CPS-G, said over the nine and a half years he was active duty military, he was deployed to Afghanistan twice and earned a Bronze Star Medal, an award bestowed for heroic service in a combat zone.

“As a distance learner, I understand the issues that others have and would like to be a voice for them,” he said. “We’re still a relatively small body compared to those that attend class in person.”

Senators failed to approve senior Christian Contreras, 2-13-4, to the College of Professional Studies undergraduate seat and Scott Whetsell, 4-11-4, to the School of Business undergraduate seat.

President Zidouemba said in his SA president report that the presidential search committee chose Education Executives as the firm to assist with finding a new University president because it caters to “those who do things differently.”

The presidential search committee announced the selected firm in an email Monday due to its previous involvement in presidential searches for other universities.

“We want input from our communities and the ones who work for the Board of Trustees and the faculty on deciding those things,” Zidouemba said.

The next senate meeting will be held on July 11 at 8:30 p.m. over Zoom.

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