No permanent Speaker of the Senate elected for fall 2018

Next year's Executive Vice President, Zac Cohen, will temporarily fill in the position.


Analicia Haynes

Members of student government talk to each other on Wednesday night during a “diversity activity” at the Student Senate meeting.

Analicia Haynes, Managing Editor

There will be no elections for a new speaker of the senate this semester because none of the current student senators approached Student Body President Luke Young to inquire about the position before Wednesday’s meeting.

Before anyone can nominate a senator, those interested have to tell the student body president of their intent to run for student speaker of the senate.

Will Outzen, the current speaker of the senate, said the people who wanted to run for the speaker position could not because of prior commitments or possible internship opportunities.

Other senators who wanted to do it did not have enough experience.

To be nominated for the speaker position senators need to have at least one semester’s worth of student government experience under their belt.

The other student senators who were considered for the position ran for executive positions instead, and another senator who wanted to run decided not to because they have an internship opportunity lined up in the fall.

“We don’t want to force anyone to do it,” Outzen said. “It’s a shame but that’s how it stands right now.”

He said the others who could do it, but decided not to, said they did not have the time to dedicate to the position.

Since there will not be a speaker election next week, Young and Outzen said according to the senate bylaws, next year’s Executive Vice President Zac Cohen will automatically fill in for the speaker position this academic year.

Outzen said there will only be seven or eight members of Student Senate, not including those on the executive board, returning in the fall.

“It’s no secret we’re not going to have many numbers starting off next semester,” Outzen said. “Just look at the ballot.”

At this point, he said, for next semester there will be a “massive” recruitment process to find senators and a special election to not only elect a speaker but also vote on changes to the constitution.

“Personally, I feel like it’s not an ideal situation, but there’s a game plan moving forward,” Outzen said. “We can’t look back, we just have to keep pressing forward.”

Outzen said he is not running for speaker again.

“I hope there’s improvement,” he said.

Senators also heard an update from Tyler Stoklosa, the chair for the student academic affairs committee, who is planning out the events during finals week.

During the April 11 Student Senate meeting, Stoklosa was allocated $500 to the student academic affairs committee to purchase items for its finals week list of activities.

Stoklosa said there are four events that will span across the week of April 30 to May 3.

The first event will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, April 30 on the northeast side of Coleman Hall.  Student senators will hand out fun-size candy bars and granola bars with “pluggers,” sheets of paper that talk about student government and the week’s events, as well as de-stressing tips to help students get through their finals.

On Tuesday, May 1 senators will hand out slices of Domino’s pizza and bread sticks from 6 to 7 p.m. in Booth Library.

On Wednesday, May 2, Stoklosa said his committee is partnering with the University Board to host a relaxation-themed event that will incorporate different stations with different activities that students can participate in such as yoga and meditation.

Stoklosa said since the UB organized the entire event, the student government will front the funds to pay for it.

The relaxation stations will be from 6 to 9 p.m. in the University Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

On Thursday May 3, Stoklosa said he and other student senators will hand out Krispy Kreme donuts, coffee or hot chocolate from noon to 3 p.m. in the Union’s Bridge Lounge.

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]