Student Senate

67th session executive board appointed


The last Student Senate meeting of the semester began at 6:04 p.m. on Monday in the Woodland Theater. 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, recently spoke in favor of phasing out equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) offices and positions in the UW System, and suggested there would be budget cuts if not phased out.

President Brett Farmer said Vos’s suggestions are “disheartening and belittling” and student governments in the UW System are not in favor of cutting back EDI offices and positions.

“I think that we’re even considering cutting funding for something so fundamental to so many of our UW System schools is horrendous,” Farmer said. “I don’t understand how somebody in such a powerful position can make such a bold assumption of all UW System schools without, to my knowledge, visiting or learning or understanding the role of them all.”

The 66th session executive board resigned at the last meeting and the senate appointed a new board for the 67th session.

Senator Lily Eisele, a first-year kinesiology student, was appointed senate personnel director. Eisele was an at-large senator during the 66th session.

“I want to be personnel director because I want to be a friendly face to people coming into Senate, whether it’s new members or people that are just intersecting with us on a day-to-day basis,” Eisele said. “It was the previous personnel director who really welcomed me in and I want to be able to provide that experience to other people.”

Thomas Miller, a second-year political science student, was reappointed as parliamentarian. Miller served as the parliamentarian during the 66th session and said he is passionate about Robert’s Rules of Order.

“I love the position, it’s a good gig for during the school year — being able to do something I enjoy while also getting paid for it is great,” Miller said. 

Colin Rafter, a second-year pre-law software engineering student, was appointed as the Academic Affairs Commission director. Rafter was an AAC member during the 65th session but was not involved during the 66th session.

“I’ve been interested in senate since the end of this year, sort of pursuing a passion for helping students around campus,” Rafter said. “So I decided to pursue Senate. I felt the directorship position was right for me because of leadership, and also because voting had already taken place so there weren’t really any senator spots I could claim.”

Ivan San, a third-year biology student, was reappointed as the Communications Commission director. San was the director during the 66th commission and said he will use his experiences to build on the commission’s work from the last session.

“I’ve been in communications (commission) for so long, I know everything that needs to be done and I think now that I have all experienced that I can do a lot more bigger passion projects and devote more time to more unique things, rather than just doing the same old every week,” San said.

Emma Velazquez, a second-year social work student, was appointed as the senate director for the Equity in Student Matters Commission. Velazquez was an at-large senator during the 66th session.

“I want to feel more connected with the marginalized communities on our campus and really exercise my passion and my right to stand up for those communities and make sure their voices are heard,” Velazquez said. “In my personal experience, I haven’t always been valued for what I’ve had to say and I want to make sure that people that join our commission or know of our commission know that I am someone who will put that at the forefront.”

Ben Johnson, a third-year accounting and finance student, was reappointed as the Finance Commission director. Johnson was the director during the 66th session.

“I loved that through the Finance Commission, we can really incite change,” Johnson said. “And through the funding work that we did last year, we have a lot of tough decisions that we have to make but I feel that with the amazing help of the commission, we can bring about great change and help students to have those activities and everything they want and need in college.”

The executive board of the 67th Student Senate session. (Photo by Maddie Kasper)

Drew Morehouse, a third-year computer science and actuarial science student, was appointed as the Information Technology Commission director. Morehouse had not previously served in the senate but is a leadership intern in the Activities, Involvement and Leadership office.

“I’m really interested in technology,” Morehouse said. “I think I have the knowledge and expertise to be able to make well-thought-out and well-informed decisions and work with people to help inform people about what technology has to offer here as well as grow people’s needs and address them, using my knowledge base of what we can do here.”

Mei Bean, a first-year sociology and political science student, was appointed as the Intergovernmental Affairs Commission director. Bean was an IGA commission member during the 66th session.

“I believe that students’ voices need to be heard not only on the campus level but on the governmental level,” Bean said. “I also believe that community connections to the campus and to Student Senate itself are very important.”

Sydney McGuine, a third-year environmental public health student, was reappointed as the senate director for the Student Office of Sustainability Commission. McGuine was a senator during the 65th session and served as the senate director during the 66th session.

“It’s been a great experience this last year already and even though it is tough at times. I definitely learned a lot and met a lot of great people and I would like to work on more opportunities for students,” McGuine said.

McGuine said she and Jake Hicks, senator and SOS student director, will begin researching how other institutions in the UW System use green funds and approach the A20 policy for funding student sustainability initiatives.

Bradford Heap, a second-year healthcare administration student, was reappointed as the Student Organization Commission director. Heap was an on-campus senator during the 65th session and the director during the 66th session.

“It’s really inspiring to me the connections I’ve made, the memories I’ve made and really the skills I’ve developed. I want to continue to spread that across the entire campus across all of over 150 plus student organizations,” Heap said. “I want to share that kind of experience and different memories like that for each student organization.”

Zach Jacobson, a second-year social studies education student, was reappointed as the University Activities Commission director. Jacobson was a UAC late-night co-chair on the commission before becoming the director during the 66th session.

Jacobson was appointed UAC director midway through the 66th session when Farmer was appointed to the vice presidency.

“I think now me and my advisor Cory have both kind of gotten comfortable in our positions and something that we can keep really steamrolling forward and using our past experiences and past successes and failures to learn from those and really plan the best events on campus in order to engage as many students as possible,” Jacobson said.

Farmer and Vice President Sam Consiglio said they were proud of their entire board of nominees being appointed.

“I think with interviews we were able to see the passion that they all have, but then hearing their speeches and seeing what initiatives they actually want to get started on right away — it was really cool to see and there’s so much drive through all of them.”

Logan Ackerman was sworn in as an on-campus senator. Eisele, Bean and Velazquez resigned their senate seats and Senate Personnel Director Anakah Denison resigned. Kyle May was reappointed as the mascot coordinator.

The senate adjourned at 11:06 p.m. and will reconvene at the beginning of the fall semester.

Kasper can be reached at [email protected].