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Senate reinstates ‘Chief of Staff’ title

Madeline Buckley | Thursday, March 26, 2009

Student Senate passed a resolution to amend the constitution of the undergraduate student body to restore the title of Chief of Staff at the last meeting of the term Wednesday.

The position is currently called the Chief Executive Assistant (CEA) and is the number three positions in student government, serving under the student body president and vice president.

Student body vice president Grant Schmidt officially announced that Ryan Brellenthin, current chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, will take the position of Chief of Staff on April 1.

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Brian Coughlin said the title Chief of Staff was changed to Chief Executive Assistant because changes made to the format of student government essentially dissolved the staff.

“There wasn’t any staff so the name was inappropriate at the time,” Coughlin said.

Ian Secviar, chair of the Oversight Committee, which oversees changes to the constitution, said the switch was for practical reasons.

“People usually have a hard time explaining what the CEA is,” he said.

Secviar said current chief executive assistant Karen Koski usually referred to the title of Chief of Staff when discussing her job with student government outsiders because the title is more descriptive of the job.

The resolution passed with 25 votes for the amendment, two against and zero abstaining votes. Alumni Hall senator Zach Reuvers and Fisher Hall senator Jon Vu opposed the amendment.

The resolution states that the Chief of Staff will assist the student body president and vice president with daily tasks and committee efforts, attend all Executive Policy Board meetings and sit on Student Senate, Council of Representatives and the Campus Life Council as a non-voting member.

The Chief of Staff will also be responsible for Student Senate press releases and general publicity, according to the resolution.

In other Senate news:

uStudent body vice president Grant Schmidt said he has been preparing for the transitions that will occur when he takes his position as student body president on April 1, along with student body vice president-elect Cynthia Weber.

uChair of the Academic Affairs committee Ryan Brellenthin said his committee has been working with professors to obtain ISBN numbers for texts books required for University courses in order to lower the cost of books. He said the project will continue into the next term.