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Notre Dame senate kicks off year with first meeting

| Thursday, August 31, 2023

At 5:32 p.m. Wednesday night in the Mendoza College of Business, the first official Senate meeting of the year took place. New council members were chosen, a student union parliamentarian was elected and the role of executive cabinet director of LGBTQ+ advocacy was filled.  

Clayton Chauncey guided the group in prayer then the meeting began, led by student body vice president Aidan Rezner.

The group unanimously approved the minutes from the last meeting on May 3.

Rezner discussed upcoming Executive Council events, including the McWell x StuGov Wellness Expo on Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m., and the Student Union Showcase next Monday from 8 to 10 p.m.

Rezner and other council members continued to stress the importance of FUEL, First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership, and how anyone interested should join. Applications will be open until Sept. 6 and are for first year students only. 

The meeting continued with general orders, including nominations for Campus Life Council and the Committee on the Constitution. 

The Campus Life Council is open to a maximum of three students. One must be from a female dorm and one must be from a male dorm. The other will be chosen by majority. Due to an overabundance of votes, it will be announced at a later date who made the committee.

The Committee on the Constitution was also voted on and requires a minimum of three members. Four senate members ran for the position: Sam Godinez, Bella Vasquez, Jayden Espinoza and Maura Meyers. All four applicants were voted in with no objections. 

The Senate next tackled the issue of there being no current student union parliamentarian since Griffin McAndrew is seeking a leave of absence. The nomination and endorsement for the new student union parliamentarian was written by Koryn Isa, judicial council president. Hunter Brooke, hailing from Carroll Hall, put up his senate seat in order to run for this position. After questioning and debate, Brooke was officially voted in. 

During the debate, Brooke was highly praised by his classmates and peers for his incredible work ethic and selflessness. 

“I’m continually impressed by the amount of work that he puts in and also his keen understanding of the Constitution and of what this particular role requires. I encourage everyone to vote yes for the nomination for parliamentarian and thanks for giving me some time,”said Derrick Williams of Keough Hall.

Continuing on, Sam Godinez of Dillion Hall asserted that “The parliamentarian position should be served by somebody who is committed strongly for the student union and who is willing to stand up for the truth, and I believe that that individual is Hunter Brooke.”

Godinez said Brooke is “a man of unquestionable character” who served in FUEL as a freshman and as a hall senator.

With Brooks being voted in, his seat as senator of Carroll Hall is vacant and will be filled within the coming weeks. 

Next to take the hot seat was Greg Gehring, who was nominated by student body president Daniel Jung for executive cabinet director of LGBTQ+ advocacy. Gehring shared his experience working for the LGBTQ+ community during questioning before the debate began. During the debate, Joey Kositzke, who is affiliated with Gehring from his time in FUEL, discussed his values and commitment to the program. 

I just like to issue my support towards Greg. He was a really, really great member of the cohort last year, always super energetic and eager at every meeting, bringing people together from different groups, and I think he did a really great job of bringing new ideas to the table at every turn,” Kositzke said.

“On top of that, speaking as this year’s director of academic affairs, with some of the potential events that Greg has planned, I think he’s somebody who I’d really love to work with. I know that he is really committed to this role, and I can’t really imagine any other person I’d want to work with more,” Kositzke conitnued.

Gehring walked back into a room of people clapping, signifying he was elected. There were no objections during the vote. 

The meeting concluded with discussions about off campus programming and hall events. Some of these conversations included Dillon Hall’s South Quad pep rally on Friday at 5:45 p.m. and the launching of a new student-designed app, Campfire, on Thursday.

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