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ASG elects new cabinet members, senate leadership

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In its last meeting of the semester, which lasted nearly eight hours, Miami University’s Associated Student Government (ASG) held elections for five executive cabinet positions and two senate leadership positions.

Before holding elections, ASG approved an internal operating budget for the summer and the first 50 days of the fall semester. This budget allocated just more than $7,000 in ASG funds to eight different executive cabinet members.

Later, ASG allocated almost $12,000 to about 50 student organizations for the month of April.

College of Arts and Science Senator Jake Kravitz voiced concern about allocating ASG funds to student organizations that do not include non-discrimination clauses in their constitutions.

“[Not including non-discrimination clauses] makes clubs less welcoming to diversity and inclusion,” Kravitz said. “To not speak up about this every time we discuss student org funding would make the situation uncomfortable for me.”

Despite this concern, ASG approved the allocations unanimously.

ASG then held elections for secretary of academic affairs, secretary for on-campus affairs, secretary for diversity and inclusion, secretary for infrastructure and sustainability, secretary for safety, parliamentarian and speaker pro tempore.

College of Education, Health and Society Senator Kelsey Bittel ran unopposed for the position of secretary for academic affairs. The election was scheduled to occur at the April 21 meeting but was postponed due to the length of that meeting, which ran six hours.

Bittel said, if elected, she would advocate for more sustainability-based education and interdisciplinary projects.

Senators voted no confidence for the position, so another election will be held at a later date.

On-Campus Senator Jonathon Hudak, junior Olivia Mussell and Farmer School of Business Senator Trey Petrella ran for the position of secretary for on-campus affairs.

Hudak, who works at the Starbucks in the Shriver Center, said he would work with administration and student managers to ensure complaints and concerns from student employees are heard and addressed.

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Mussell expressed a desire to enhance the relationship between ASG and Residence Hall Association (RHA). She also said, if elected, she would ensure Miami students were educated about voting and other forms of civic engagement.

Like Mussell, Petrella said he’d make an effort to increase collaboration between ASG and RHA if elected. He also proposed creating a “Love & Honor Week” at the end of the year during which student organizations would showcase everything they accomplished that year.

Senators elected Petrella to the position.

Sophomore Andrew Abata and incumbent Secretary for Diversity and Inclusion Brandon Small ran for the position of secretary for diversity and inclusion.

Abata said he’d hold a diversity and inclusion forum directed specifically toward Miami students if elected. He also emphasized the importance of collaboration between different diversity-related student organizations.

Small said he’d continue to promote diversity and inclusion within ASG if re-elected. He also said he’d work with the provost to implement diversity into all major programs, rather than limiting it to a few specialized courses.

Senate re-elected Small to the position.

College of Arts and Science Senator Lauren Doepke and junior Allison South ran for the position of secretary for infrastructure and sustainability.

Doepke said, if elected, she would increase collaboration between students and administrators on sustainability-related initiatives. She also said she’d attempt to shift the university’s focus from recycling to reusing.

South highlighted her experience as president of EcoReps and said she would work on implementing composting on Miami’s campus and work with the Students With Disabilities Affairs Council (SDAC) to make campus more accessible.

Senators elected South to the position.

On-Campus Senator Ryan Barr accepted a nomination to run for the position of parliamentarian.

Barr discussed his passion for parliamentary procedure and his experience running and serving on committees. Senators elected him to the position.

On-Campus Senator Danielle Stein and incumbent Speaker Pro Tempore Victoria Villanueva accepted nominations to run for the position of speaker pro tempore.

Stein said she would create a mentorship program to ensure new senators felt comfortable in their new role and would serve as a “mother figure” for ASG.

Villanueva highlighted her efforts to keep students informed during the coronavirus pandemic by answering questions and addressing concerns on the ASG Instagram.

Senators re-elected Villanueva to the position.

Junior Izzy Arbetter, sophomore Josie Carter, first-year Kylie Goudy, Senator-at-Large Emma Jewell, College of Arts and Science Senator Tatum Moleski and first-year Harper Sutton ran for the position of Secretary for Safety. This election was scheduled to take place at the April 21 meeting, but ASG voted no confidence for both candidates who ran at that meeting.

Arbetter previously ran for the position at the April 21 meeting, but senators voted no confidence due to her authorship of a controversial resolution, SR192008, which instituted mandatory disciplinary minimums for students found guilty of sexual assault. 

She said she was unaware of the concerns surrounding the resolution until very recently, and she learned a lot from the conversations she had with senators following last week’s meeting.

Carter said she would provide protective gear like masks to all students during move-in week and would work with administrators to advertise the mental health resources on campus.

Goudy said she would implement a survivor-centered sexual assault prevention program and attempt to get mental health kiosks on campus.

Jewell highlighted her experience as a student assistant in the dean of students’ office and said she would work with Provost Jason Osborne to ensure Miami’s campus followed all Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines when students returned in the fall.

Moleski said she’d create a Title IX training program to increase understanding of the process and work on destigmatizing substance abuse.

Sutton said she would implement self-defense and empowerment workshops to combat sexual and interpersonal violence. She also said she’d add free STI testing to the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion’s bi-weekly HIV testing.

After a lengthy discussion, senators elected Sutton to the position.

@madphabes

phabymr@miamioh.edu

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