New senators meet for the 2022-23 term, swear in executives
Liam Price | Friday, April 8, 2022
The 2022-23 Notre Dame student senate held its first meeting Thursday night on the second floor of the Duncan Student Center.
The meeting opened with oaths of office for student body president and vice president Patrick Lee and Sofie Stitt, respectively, followed by the oath of office for the newly elected senators.
After the oaths were taken, the senate approved the prior meeting’s minutes and moved into executive announcements, where Stitt informed the new senators of their responsibilities.
“I would just love to remind you all of the duties of the senate,” Stitt told the senators. “I know it can get a little bit confusing.”
Following reminders from Stitt about parliamentary procedures in the senate, Stitt moved to general orders, beginning with SO 2223-01, a resolution to amend the constitution and modify executive cabinet departments to better split up responsibilities in the executive cabinet.
During debate, off-campus president Thomas Davis took issue with the resolution, saying that the organization of the resolution is incorrect.
“The constitution shouldn’t amend itself to fit the points of the platform,” he explained. “The points of the platform should form themselves to the constitution.”
Lee said he agreed but defended the resolution in response to Davis.
“I would agree. The constitution doesn’t serve the platform, but the department directors and the departments themselves are here to serve the students,” Lee said.
After the debate concluded, the senators voted to pass the resolution.
The next resolution appointed Sara Atassi and Alec Breiler as off-campus senators until April 30 when newly elected senators will be sworn in.
Following the passing of the second resolution, the senate began nominations of the executive cabinet.
Sophomore Nicole Baumann was approved as chief-of-staff, first-year Ryann McTague as student union secretary, sophomore Kevin Wang as executive controller, junior Jared Schlachet as student union parliamentarian, sophomore Koryn Isa as judicial council vice-president of elections and the 21 cabinet directors were approved at once.
For each of the five individual nominations, the senate raised questions, debated and voted to nominate the members for their positions. The biggest debate, however, surrounded the nomination of Jared Schlachet for parliamentarian.
First-years Hunter Brooke and Derick Williams said they had issues with what they considered a lack of experience of Schlachet in the student senate.
“I think it’s important to get somebody on that has experience with the Senate, has spent years with Judicial Council and has been on numerous committees,” Williams said. “I don’t exactly feel like that bar is reached.”
Brooke said his concerns weren’t personal, but emphasized they were focused on the position’s requirements.
“I have absolutely nothing against [Schlachet], I would just really like to see a candidate that has far more experience,” he said.
Davis, who previously served for two years as parliamentarian, disagreed with Brooke and Williams. The debate, he said, was personal to him and he considered Schlachet fit for the job.
“You grow into the role,” Davis said. “The role doesn’t grow around you.”
Ultimately, the senate agreed with Davis and voted in a closed vote to approve Davis as parliamentarian, with only three anonymous “no” votes.
After nominations, the senate voted to bestow emeritus status upon former student body president, vice president and chief-of-staff Allan Njomo, Matthew Bisner and Alix Basden, respectively. Each vote was unanimous and consisted of open debate where the senators, Lee and Stitt praised the former leaders for their work.
Reaching the meeting’s time cap after bestowing the honors, Stitt quickly mentioned new business announcements and the senate adjourned.