Senators discuss election, upcoming legislation

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March 27, 2009

5:11 AM

Seven incumbents and four new senators were voted into office in the Student Assembly elections Thursday.
Despite a technical error that has forced a run-off election for the class of 2010’s fourth senate seat, many of the newly elected senators were ready to discuss their plans for the coming year at an election after-party held at the Library Tavern.

“What happened with the rising senior class is that our voting system allowed graduate students to vote,” Sen. Walter McClean ’09 said. “Around 12 voted, but because the difference between Eric Newman and Erik Houser were only three votes, which is less than the 12 percent margin allowed, we’re going to have a runoff.”

The Class of 2010 senate victors included Ross Gillingham, Steven Nelson and Jim Dunleavey.
Dunleavey, the only newcomer among the three elected, said he realizes the potential of the SA, to make a difference on campus but he aims to improve its roles and purpose.

“The Student Assembly has a good general framework, but needs some fixing,” Dunleavey said. “Right now, it’s a playground for government majors and potential politicians. I want make it a relevant student body again.”

McLean said that many of the bills approved in the past year were important.

“Some of the key bills were the [automatic external defibrillator] acts, outdoor recycling bills on Old Campus, [and] the flu shot bill,” McLean said. “Also, this year we’ve made some progress with the 3-person rule, which Rojas will hopefully continue with next year.”

The class of 2011 will be represented by incumbents Brittany Fallon and Ben Brown, as well as newly elected Sens. Imad Matini and Juan Jorquera.

Brown said he and other senators accomplished a lot last year, and that he has a variety of bills proposed for the coming year.

”My main bills as senator were the AED acts and the recycling bill with Brittany. I’ve also tried to extend outreach with ‘The Onion,’” Brown said. “I currently have three bills in place, mostly dealing with transparency. I’ve also proposed bills dealing with Rec sports providing cars to away-sports-matches.”

Since former Sen. Michael Douglass ’11 ran for vice president of the SA, he will not be joining the other senators next year. Despite this, Brown said he is optimistic about the new group of senators.

“It’s going to be a really exciting year,” Brown said. “We’re definitely going to miss Michael Douglass, though, he was a really hardworking senator.”

Class of 2012 winners included incumbents Jill Olszewski, Betty Jeanne Manning and Stef Felitto, as well as Matt Schofield.

Felitto spoke about the bills she’s worked on as a freshman and her plans for next year.

“I’ve worked on the honor council referendum, and I wrote the document that explained the differences between the new and old honor code, which was put in students’ CSU boxes,” Felitto said. “Both of these were passed. I’m now working on getting open billing, so that students can see what they’re charged for on their bill, which is still in committee. I’m also co-sponsoring an accessibility act, which would invite non-senators into senate meetings, and I’m working with ResLife to improve the laundry services here.”

Manning said this past year she has sponsored a student opinion survey and printer reallocation act.

Her plans for next year include putting the number for Steer Clear on the back of student ID cards along with the numbers for the campus police and campus escort.

She also said she wants to expand the SA’s outreach to students because of the direct impact SA legislation can have on the student body.

“Whenever you pass a bill, you know it’s going to affect students,” Manning said. “You know you’re making a difference.”

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