ASUO Senate elects chair, vice chair to work summer months

There was a sense of completion in University senior Zachary Stark-MacMillan’s voice as he thanked the ASUO senators for coming to the special Senate meeting held to elect a chair and vice chair for the summer months of Senate. Stark-MacMillan, who has served on Senate in a two-year seat since he was elected in spring 2009, remained as the chair for the meetings until the next chair was elected for the summer.

“Thank you all for coming during dead week … I look forward to seeing what you all do next year,” Stark-MacMillan said, followed by applause from senators and audience members.

He added that he would “probably be covering it live,” referring to CoverItLive, the online system used by the Emerald and other media outlets to publish live updates from Senate meetings.

Sens. Emma Newman and Harlan Mechling ran for summer Senate chair, and Mechling was eventually elected to the position. Newman said the letter she sent to Senate had a lot of the information on why she wanted the position but that she was looking forward to working as a team.

“It’s a great opportunity to step into a position that would challenge me,” Newman said.

Mechling said he had worked with some loose applications of Robert’s Rules — the prototypical set of parliamentary procedures — working with chapter meetings for the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He said the time he spent trying to negotiate between all of the ideas in the fraternity gave him experience in negotiation.

Another subject discussed was Senate rules the prospective chairs would like to see changed. Last year, the internal rules committee put together an extensive list of places where Senate seemed to be bumping into the rules unnecessarily, and Senate voted them in during fall term.

Mechling said he didn’t have anything specifically and just mentioned clarifying procedure on how motions are made.

Newman mentioned changing procedure for audience member involvement so more students can be involved in discussions, changing pay or office hours for Senate officers and extending the time period in which groups can return money to Senate.

The voting on vice chair was simpler; Sens. Katherine DuPont and Kaitlyn Lange were nominated at the previous meeting to run, but Lange was absent and did not submit a letter to the body.

DuPont said in terms of working with Mechling, she had a couple of ideas on how to improve communication. DuPont wants to plan office hours, so that the two of them hold at least one together.

Both Mechling and DuPont were elected by a secret paper ballot, the vote counts of which was not released to the press.

Committee confirmations

Nathaneal Keohane, Rachel Bracker and Shabd Khalsa were unanimously confirmed to the Department Finance Committee, the EMU Board of Directors and Athletics and Contracts Finance Committee, [email protected]@

Special requests

The Art History Association was approved to transfer money from “Art Acquisition” and “Conference Registration” line items to pay for “Professional Development” events — targeted to improve art students’ career skills.

American Advertising Federation Ad Club wanted to transfer $447 from the non-food elements of Ad Night to food for the event. Because the group was unable to find a speaker, the group had extra money in its nonfood line item and wanted to purchase 33 pizzas from Pizza Research Institute, a vendor that specializes in vegan and vegetarian options.

Senators said they didn’t like the amount of pizzas being purchased, and the number was amended, equaling $247. The transfer was approved with nine votes in favor and six against.

The event is scheduled for tonight at 5:30 in Allen Hall, and a number of attendees will receive free Moleskine notebooks.

Safe Ride requested to transfer $2,000 from “Dispatcher Payroll” to account for increases in gasoline prices. The transfer was unanimously approved.

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