Feb. 5, 2020—Undergraduate Student Government starts this semester off full speed ahead.
In a room on the second floor, Undergraduate Student Government Officials slowly took their seats. At 3 p.m., the First General Assembly of the semester began.
The meeting began with an announcement from the new President, Alex Killian. In his speech, President Killian stated that, “Long gone are the days of one-sentence reports from me.” President Killian also announced the creation of three new positions in the cabinet: the Diversity Officer, the Academic Officer and the Resident Life Officer. Nominations for those positions will be available soon.
The Student Trustee, Kush Patel, also announced the Chancellor Search Committee has found a suitable candidate to be permanent Chancellor. Dean Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, of the University of California, Los Angeles, has the Faculty Council’s full support, and he is planning to take up his position in time for the Fall semester.
The speaker also gave more information. The Senate is down to 22 members, meaning that to pass legislation, a bill needs to get at least 13 votes towards it. This could present problems down the road for more controversial issues, such as amendments. USG will also be tabling on Feb. 26, 2020. Students interested in joining USG can attend to learn more.
After initial remarks, the cheerleading team’s budget request was passed unanimously. Without this vote, the cheerleading team would not be able to compete in their second competition.
The Election Committee was also created during this General Assembly. This committee was formed to oversee the election and to prevent any election fraud. With a few candidates running for the office, it will be quite an election. The creation of it was also passed unanimously.
Lastly came to nominations. First, President Killian nominated Macie Jones, former USG Chief Justice, for the position of Vice President. Vice President Jones has experience all over campus. She joined USG in the fall of 2018 as Associate Justice, and continued on to be Chief Justice in the fall of 2019. She is also involved in the OSLCE office as a mentor for First-Year Leadership Institute and Leadership Foundations, and helped start Ignite, a movement that helps support female involvement in politics.
“It was an exciting moment to be nominated as Vice President when Alex had to step as president,” Jones said. “To have that relationship with him, for him to feel confident in nominating me was special.” When asked what her goals were as Vice President, Jones stated “I hope to try and bridge the gap between USG and some of the student organizations on campus. Sometimes, it feels like we're a middle-man between the student clubs and the administration. I want to remind students that USG is run by students, for students. Our primary goal is to be there for them.”
After a mishap with the Oath of Office from the Associate Justice, Vice President Jones was appointed nearly unanimously, with a 14–1 vote. One Senator, Gordon Smith, stated “in my opinion, [she is] the best nomination we could have. Obviously, we needed someone from steering, and and [...] I think Macie is the best person for that, not only in the way she handles herself, her personality, but also the experience she has as Chief Justice.”
The second nomination was for the justice position. For this position, President Killian nominated Angie Klepach. Klepach has plenty of leadership experience. In high school, she not only was involved in her student council, but also started the psychology club from the ground up, eventually becoming its president. Her main goal as a justice is to make sure every student has a voice in the discussion. She hopes to participate in these important conversations, and to help guide USG.
“I’ve always wanted to be involved with the student government here on campus,” she said. “I really want to try and be involved with the general assembly meetings, and have my voice out and be able to give my opinions.”
Justice Klepach was confirmed by the senate unanimously. One senator, Maura Driscoll, said “I think the new justice is so good. [The Justice Branch] is going to do great things.” Senator Smith also said regarding Justice Klepach “She seemed to be someone who definitely wants to be there, and will be a good justice.”