The 106th Student Senate was sworn in Tuesday, April 9 at the Student Center. Student Body President Candice Crutcher did the honors, welcoming in six new and 13 returning senators.
The swearing in is part of an organizational meeting that is held by every new senate in order to complete the procedural steps that need to be taken before they officially become a governing body. These procedures also include the election of Speaker of the Senate and the election of Parliamentarian, formerly known as the Judicial Sergeant.
Taylor Lawrence won the votes for Speaker of the Senate, securing the position for a second term. He ran against Amanda Fox and Balaal Hollings. Lawrence spoke of partnering with fellow senators to set goals for the 106th Senate. He acknowledged the issues that the 105th Senate faced and said he believes there’s a lot they can do to improve.
“We can’t learn if we don’t make mistakes,” Sen. Lawrence declared in his speech.
The other elected official within the senate is the Parliamentarian. Jack Swartzinski ran against Balaal Hollings for this position with Swartzinski securing the position for a second term.
“I don’t believe anyone should run unopposed,” Sen. Hollings declared during a congratulatory speech later in the meeting.
The role of the Parliamentarian is different from its predecessor, Judicial Sergeant, in that the senator elected to this role now retains the right to vote. The other duties of this role include mentoring new senators and gatekeeping Robert’s Rules of Order, which is the set of standards that the governing body follows when in session.
When considering the translation of the position, Swartzinski read past by-laws and spoke with the people who wrote them. Finding discrepancy between what was written and how it was translated, Swartzinski sought to clarify the position.
“My biggest goal is to create a degree of senate autonomy,” Swartzinski said. That’s what he hopes to achieve while in this position.
“[The] clear mission is to keep the senate in order, to create rules and to be very vigilant of the bylaw,” he stated regarding the role of the Parliamentarian.
The Parliamentarian is most closely related to the U.S. Senate’s President pro tempore. This position typically mentors new senators and ensures the integrity of the body while retaining a vote. The President pro tempore is elected in the same capacity as the rest of the senate, meaning they are chosen by voters to represent their voices.
Swartzinski is looking forward to another term of leading the Senate. He’s also looking forward to working with the newly elected Vice-President Hajer Abuzir.
“She’s going to be a very good leader in the Senate,” Swartzinski said of Abuzir. “I’m confident she’s going to make good decisions in recognizing her role as she goes along.”
The Senate is on break through the Summer and will reconvene on Sept. 3. Students are welcome and encouraged to join the senate meetings. You can find their calendar on the Student Government website, www.emusg.com.