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Senate passes resolutions granting emeritus status to former student body government leadership

| Friday, April 16, 2021

The 2021-2022 student senate convened for its second meeting Thursday night in DeBartolo Hall.

Three resolutions were unanimously passed at the meeting, bestowing emeritus status on 2020-2021 student body president senior Rachel Ingal, vice president senior Sarah Galbenski and chief of staff senior Aaron Benavides.

Student body vice president junior Matthew Bisner read the resolutions aloud, each of which were followed by commentary from attendees.

“Rachel served as an unwavering advocate for the student body in her role by working to amplify the voices of every member of the Notre Dame community and accompanying the student body throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bisner said.

Student body president junior Allan Njomo commended Ingal on an “excellent job” in transitioning into her role as president at the beginning of the pandemic. Galbenski and Benavides were also praised following the reading of the resolutions which granted them emeritus status.

Walsh senator and first-years student Ava Downey said she has loved living a few doors down from Galbenski in Walsh Hall.

“Sarah has been a good friend and a good mentor,” Downey said.

Chief of staff and junior Alix Basden said Benavides is kind, funny and approachable.

“I have really big shoes to fill after Aaron in this role,” Basden said. “Aaron has always been someone I’ve looked up to.”

(Editor’s Note: Aaron Benavides is a former news writer for The Observer.)

Ingal, Galbenski and Benavides were in attendance at the meeting.

Prior to the passage of the resolutions, nominations to the 2021-2022 Student Union Board (SUB) Executive Board were unanimously confirmed.

There was a motion to dispense of the hearing of the letters of SUB and there were no questions for any of the nominees.

SUB executive director and junior Kate McLaughlin took questions pertaining to SUB from meeting attendees.

A former Duncan senator, sophomore Cian James Conroy, asked McLaughlin questions about a number of SUB-related issues. He asked about the equity of the SUB member selection process and the transparency of SUB’s internal financing.

Junior Matthew Hall and first-year Lily Condodina were confirmed as co-directors of programming, junior Catherine Fitzpatrick was confirmed as director of operations, first-year Ava Bidner was confirmed as director of publicity, sophomore Jing Tong was confirmed as director of art and junior Olivia Balcer was confirmed as director of finance.

Following the SUB nominations, elections for the Committee on the Constitution were carried out. Six people nominated themselves to the committee and attendees voted on their confirmation. All nominees were confirmed.

Also on the agenda was a presentation on writing resolutions from the student union parliamentarian, sophomore Madison Nemeth.

Nemeth walked senators through the necessary steps to write successful resolutions, orders and letters to the Office of Student Affairs on behalf of the student senate.

At the end of the meeting, Bisner offered a new order of business on the agenda for next week: changes to Welcome Weekend.

The meeting concluded with announcements on upcoming campus-wide and hall events. Two events promoted were SUB’s last two events of AnTostal celebration week and Lewis Hall’s LHOP (Lewis House of Pancakes) event Saturday night.

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