Meeting for the first time under new leadership in an unusually long session, ASG Senate convened this week to confirm cabinet nominees and vote on several funding requests.
In a stark contrast to last year’s hotly-contested confirmation process, all seven nominees breezed through the process with relative ease. While several of the nominations were the focus of more debate, most notably SESP junior Austin Romero, the nominee for Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, no candidate received significant vocal opposition from senators. Though senate teetered dangerously close to losing quorum due to a lack of senators, all nominees passed without incident.
In addition to Romero, ASG confirmed Weinberg junior Anna Rennich for VP for Academics, Medill freshman Christina Cilento as VP for Sustainability, Medill junior Jaime Toplin as VP for Public Relations, McCormick sophomore Christina Kim for VP for Services and SESP sophomore Chris Harlow for VP for Student Life, and confirmed Weinberg sophomore Kevin Harris to a second term as VP for Community Relations.
Several of the outgoing ASG cabinet members gave brief remarks after swearing in their successors, exhorting their fellow students to continue to give all they could to Northwestern and acknowledge others who had done the same.
“You’re working on the backs of a lot of people who never left their names on a building or a classroom or a chair because it was for you, it was not for them,” said Sofia Sami, outgoing VP for Academics.
In an update to last week’s discussion of voting procedures, Senate Parliamentarian Petros Karaholios informed senators that provisions for roll call votes and a secret ballot already exist in ASG by-laws, rending last week’s debate moot.
Following confirmations, senators considered several requests for funding, including a request from J Street U, a student organization that advocates for a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine, for $600 toward honorariums for two speakers. Senate moved the measure to old business in order to vote on it immediately, since the event takes place before ASG meets again next Wednesday. Senate granted the request in full, though senators debated cutting the funding to $300. Since the final vote occurred after 10 p.m., Senate was forced to vote to extend the time limits of their session in order to complete the funding request.
Senate also granted a request for $150 from the Services and Technology committee to take out an ad for JobCat, an ASG initiative to link Evanston residents with odd jobs to Northwestern students.
Pura Playa, a plastics waste reduction team within Engineers for a Sustainable World, urged ASG Senate to pass a resolution supporting a bottled water-free campus. Senate will vote on the issue next week. Senate also appointed Weinberg freshman Steven Bennett as Director of Educational Technologies for the Academic Committee.