New student senators convene for first meeting of new term
Maggie Eastland | Friday, April 9, 2021
The first senate meeting under new leadership, following the recent student body and senate elections, took place Thursday evening in Debartolo Hall.
The meeting confirmed many students to new positions, including the student body president, vice president and the 2021-2022 senators who took the oath of office to open to meeting.
“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of student body president of the University of Notre Dame Du Lac, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the undergraduate student body, so help me God,” student body president junior Allan Njomo said.
Vice president junior Matthew Bisner and the senators took a similar oath.
Following the oaths of office, newly sworn in Bisner began with executive announcements, including a statement in support of Antisemitism Awareness Week and announcement of his office hours, during which the new senators will have the opportunity to meet the vice president.
“Antisemitism Awareness Week has seen some truly egregious acts of antisemitic conduct visible on members of this community, namely to display offensive images,” Bisner said. “For our part, Allan, Alix and I pray that no current students were part of this painful display. If they were, however, we hope that the University will take swift and necessary action.”
For the final executive announcement, sophomore Madison Nemeth, acting parliamentarian, gave an informative presentation on basic parliamentary procedure for the newly confirmed senators.
Next, the senate confirmed several cabinet nominees.
Junior Alix Basden was approved as chief of staff, first-year Mary Massman as student union secretary, junior Jack Rotolo as executive controller, sophomore Madison Nemeth as student union parliamentarian, first-year Koryn Isa as judicial council vice president of elections and sophomore Allison Sharp as judicial council vice president of peer advocacy. Eighteen additional executive cabinet members were sworn into various positions.
Among those nominated, Rotolo spoke on the importance of financial transparency in his position.
“I’m interested in having office hours as well, so I can talk to students if they have any questions about how money is being spent and what things are being funded,” Rotolo said. “I definitely want to be as transparent as possible.”
Director of University policy, first year Dane Sherman, answered many questions about his plans once approved, emphasizing political diversity, dialogue and transparency.
(Editor’s Note: Dane Sherman is a former News writer for The Observer.)
“We’ve really been looking at how we can make sure that we exemplify the incredible political and ideological diversity that we have here at the University of Notre Dame,” Sherman said.
In addition, through initiatives such as waffles and chats opportunities, roundtable discussions and small dinner conversations, Sherman said he has a detailed plan to increase communication and transparency between the non-senate student body and the University administration.
“We can’t just continue to do the normal pathway of passing resolutions,” Sherman said. “We need to mobilize and activate our students in powerful ways so that their voices feel listened to, and so that we can fight back against policy points that might not be as popular.”
Finally, the meeting concluded with announcements about upcoming hall events, such as Pangborn’s Pang-Pong event and next week’s Student Union Board AnTostal celebration as well as a call for everyone to get vaccinated to help reach the 90 percent standard proposed by the University.