The Undergraduate Student Government of gathered Wednesday night for its final meeting of the 2014-2015 year as well as the first of the 2015-2016 year. Over the course of four hours and two sessions, USG reported on the past academic year, inaugurated new officers and outlined hopes for the next year.
Shortly after commencement, Sen. Broccolo presided over the inauguration of new members of the judiciary committee. Four new members were confirmed without debate or questions from the floor.
President Mark Sargent gave a speech and expressed pride at USG’s high number of female senators, its diverse executive, strong representation by the cultural centers, active freshmen members and improved social media presence.
He further praised USG’s Wall Street Journal program to start in the fall, the Academic Affairs Committee’s open source textbook program and their assurance that “our input toward the Master Plan was valid.”
Sargent also expressed regret at USG’s failure to form a Greek Life committee, expand dining hall hours or hold monthly addresses on Fairfield Way. He ended his speech praising president-elect Rachel Convoy and noted that she was “the first woman president in ten years.”
Vice President Romanna Romaniv expressed her pride over senators’ office hours and drew parallels between contemporary social movements and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, particularly in USG’s collaboration with Students for a Sensible Drug Policy and student demonstrations on campus.
This was followed by reports by the comptroller, chief of staff, chief justice and the chairpersons of the individual committees. Notable mentions included further references to the open source textbook program and efforts to revive GUARD Dogs.
USG then spent approximately forty minutes giving each of the outgoing members lighthearted commendations, heartfelt goodbyes and standing ovations. The commendations were passed unanimously.
Following a short recess, the incoming Undergraduate Student Government of 2015-2016 gathered to swear in its newly elected and reelected members, including President Rachel Conboy and Vice President Adam Kuegler.
USG approved Bennett Cognado as Internal Affairs Chairperson and Haddiyyah Ali as an ex-officio (of the African American Cultural Center) member of the senate without incident.
For the position of Senate Speaker, Sen. Colin Ng was ultimately elected over Sen. Timothy Lim following a period of debate. Ng expressed desire to “cultivate an environment for senate to prevail and for senators to get involved” while Lim focused his speech a plan to “craft a comprehensive student diversity course for senators.
For the loosely defined office of Parliamentarian, Sen. Cassandra Pugliese was elected over two other candidates following a longer period of debate. Pugliese discussed her desire to promote education among the senate.
Six chairpersons of committees were then appointed without opposition.
Vice President Kuegler’s report followed, in which he optimistically said that USG is about “giving the students voice and a way to change things.”
The meeting concluded after a few more reports and announcements on initiation for the incoming members of USG.