ASUO President Emma Kallaway has appointed one of her opponents in the 2009 presidential race to take the Senate seat she vacated when she became president.
Kallaway chose senior Carina Miller, who served on the Senate with her after being elected in 2008. Though they were opponents in the 2009 race, in which Miller finished fourth and was eliminated in the primary, Miller and the other candidates on her campaign endorsed Kallaway after the primary. The two also had similar campaign platforms on a number of issues.
However, after the election, Miller criticized Kallaway for the hiring process through which she selected her executive staff. Miller applied to be Kallaway’s chief of staff, but the position went instead to Ella Barrett, a confidant of Kallaway’s who worked extensively on her campaign.
Miller called the hiring process unfair and said, “Everyone I knew who was involved or had anything to do with the ASUO knew it was going to be Ella.” At the time, she said the only other open position she would accept was the Senate seat.
“I still stand by what I said,” Miller said Sunday. However, the topic never came up while she was being interviewed for the Senate position, she said.
In addition to sitting on the Senate, Miller will also be a member of the EMU Board, which advises the ASUO on the level of financial support students should give the EMU building and its programs, such as the KWVA radio station and the Moss Street Children’s Center.
Miller said if she could have been on any of the ASUO’s finance bodies it would be the Programs Finance Committee, on which she served her first term.
“Obviously I really care about programs,” she said. “Not that I don’t care about the EMU, but the EMU Board would have been my second choice.”
The EMU encounters persistent problems with its budget, which under state law cannot expand enough to cover the costs incurred by the building. She said she would like to see a branch of The Duck Store moved to the EMU, and she talked about the possibility of remodeling.
“The EMU’s in a lot of trouble,” Miller said. “And I don’t think that the plan that we have to make money in the EMU is such a good plan.”
She said she will spend the summer catching up on EMU programs, with which she said she is unfamiliar.
Miller must wait to be confirmed until the fall, when the regular Senate will meet again.
“I’m pretty optimistic about that,” she said, “although, I don’t know, there’s some pretty big heavyweights that didn’t get confirmed this year.”
Miller was not the only applicant for the position, although she said she didn’t know who the other candidates were.
Another candidate who was spoken of as a rival was another of Kallaway’s 2009 presidential opponents, senior Michelle Haley. Haley was runner-up in the election, but her relations with Kallaway were not as friendly during the campaign. Haley said during one debate that Kallaway’s interests were those of non-students outside the ASUO, and after the election, her campaign manager said Kallaway had run a “very dirty, very shitty campaign.”
However, Haley had experience within the ASUO, specifically the EMU Board, which she chaired from 2008 to 2009. However, Miller said she didn’t think Haley had applied.