Visuals by Ella Chochrek
Student Union Senate and Treasury selected internal leaders Tuesday following the inauguration of SU’s 51st executive board.
Sophomore Varun Lahoti will serve as speaker of the Senate, while junior Keaton Schifer will serve as speaker of the Treasury. Both have previously held leadership positions in their respective bodies. Lahoti was resolutions committee chair this fall and has served as Speaker since junior Ben Hauser resigned in February. Schifer served as budget committee chair as a sophomore.
When Lahoti took over following Hauser’s resignation and an investigation into anti-Semitic and sexually inappropriate comments made by senators, he noted the importance of making sure Senate could still accomplish change in light of the body’s turnover.
“I hope as Speaker I will empower all of you to do projects to change campus,” he said in a speech made on the Senate floor. “I want to make every meeting meaningful.”
Although Treasury has not experienced similar resignations, Schifer noted that many students either graduated or left the body in order to study abroad. Schifer’s main goals are to successfully allocate funds through Trending Topics, Student Union’s speaker series, and to improve training for Treasury representatives given the body’s turnover.
“Obviously, [Trending Topics is] going to be really important to do in a few weeks. I think that’s made more important because of the large turnover we’ve had since last year; most people on Treasury have not [worked on] Trending Topics before, so it’s important to make sure everyone’s on the same page,” Schifer said. “Second, one of the main things I want to work on is training for Treasury representatives in general. Turnover has been huge the last couple months; I think only two people were here last year at this time, and I think training has been up and down.”
In addition to choosing a speaker, Senate elected junior Chris Hall as projects committee chair, sophomore Zak Kadish as resolutions committee chair and sophomore Tyler Tran as outreach committee chair. Hall and Tran both served in their positions this semester as well, while Kadish is new to his role.
Treasury re-elected sophomore Katie Wood , who used has served two semesters on Treasury and previously served on Senate for a semester, as budget committee chair and chose freshman Alia Nahra as activities committee chair.
The elected representatives will serve in their positions through the remainder of this semester and through the fall 2017 semester.