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New student body president appointed without election

Senate Speaker Tia Bakshi said multiple committees will review the signatures from this year's student body president nominees.
Senate Speaker Tia Bakshi said multiple committees will review the signatures from this year's student body president nominees.

Will Brinley, a junior marketing major, and Babs Dwyer, a junior sports communication and media major, were announced as student body president-elect and student body vice president-elect respectively on Feb. 20. Brinley and Dwyer were announced before the March election date due to running uncontested.

The date to be added to the ballot for student body president and vice president was extended from Friday, Feb. 16, to Monday, Feb. 19, after only one or fewer tickets were submitted by the original deadline.

During Miami University’s Associated Student Government’s (ASG) first meeting on Feb. 20, Speaker of the Senate Tia Bakshi said that two tickets were submitted by the Monday deadline, but one was found to not have the required 150 verified Miami student signatures.

Brinley and Dywer received 186 and 177 signatures respectively before ASG’s Election Committee reviewed the signatures to verify the emails used. The second ticket of Patrick Houlihan and Spencer Mandzak had 154 before verification.

“At this time, we will refrain from answering questions while the Judicial Council reviews all the information further,” Bakshi said. “I have full faith in both the Elections Committee and Judicial Council and their decisions between now and moving forward.”

Both Mandzak and Houlihan declined to comment until the appeal process is finished. Current Student Body President and Vice President Nyah Smith and Jules Jefferson also declined to comment until the end of the process.

Student Body President-elect Will Brinley and Student Body Vice President-elect Babs Dwyer did not attend the meeting and were not available for comment.

The Judicial Council review will take place on Friday, Feb. 22, at 2:15 p.m. in the ASG office in Armstrong Student Center room 2012.

Following Bakshi’s statement, ASG voted to confirm its internal operating budget presented by Secretary of the Treasury Evelyn Harvey. The budget shows ASG spending over $161,000 for the 2023 - 2024 academic year.

The meeting then shifted to nominations from the floor to fill an open position on the steering committee. Senators Keene Bryant and Abby Showalter nominated themselves for the position with Showalter being elected to the position.

Showalter, a professional writing major, felt qualified for the position which includes checking legislation for grammar and wording. She said that her thoughts will not influence how she edits legislation on the way to the floor.

“We all have to go through bias training there, and I think that it's good to realize that I think that my experience on the oversight committee has helped me to evaluate that and make good decisions,” Showalter said.

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At the conclusion of the meeting, Grace Payne, secretary for on-campus affairs, said she had received an update from Chartwells dining service which has been selected to provide dining to Miami next year.

Payne said that after the fall semester, Cafe Lux will be replaced with a new location that will be influenced by student feedback, but many other things will stay the same.

Starbucks, Panera and the Grubhub robots will all stay on campus, according to the update that Payne received. Dining hall workers will also be able to keep their positions and have the option to work for Chartwells instead of Miami.

Payne also said that the dining halls will rotate menu items more often and Eiffel Tower Pizza will be replaced with a similar restaurant. There’s also the possibility of a national brand adding a location inside of Armstrong in the near future.

“Do not ask me what brand will go in there [Armstrong],” Payne said. “I'm not going to know before I graduate.”

The next ASG meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Feb. 27, in the Joslin Senate Chamber.