New Senate members take their seat at the table

Matthew Park

ASWC received a facelift this week as the voting members of the table approved junior Maxwell Hoversten as Vice President and junior Kirsten Trout as Academic Affairs Representative.

The newly-appointed members of the Table will be the successors for former VP senior Sofia Dueñas and former Academic Affairs Representative junior Anders Blomso.  Senators Dueñas and Blomso both stepped down from their positions earlier in the semester, resulting in a shorthanded Senate in the days leading up to spring break. Additionally, former Treasurer junior Lorena Heymans and Environmental Action Advocate junior Maddie McMurray stepped down from the table during the Spring semester, and their positions have yet to be filled.

Despite the mass-exodus of Senators from the table prior to spring break, the time off provided some much-needed rest for an organization that was showing signs of fatigue.  During the first Senate meeting following the break, ASWC Senators voted in favor of President senior Amer Rashid to appoint either new or existing members of his choice to take the vacant seats on the table. Rashid then took the week between meetings to sit down and meet with the candidates for each position. 

“President Rashid contacted me, asking to talk over the weekend,” said Hoversten. “He later informed me that he was considering me for the position, to which I accepted.”

Newly-appointed Senator Trout explained that for her, the process was all about reaching out to her friends on the table. “I heard about what was going on with Senate and all the positions that were opening up,” said Trout. 

At the Senate meeting on March 27, the table voted to have a closed session in order to discuss and vote on the new candidates.  

President Rashid announced Hoversten as the new VP and Trout as new Academic Affairs Representative and congratulated them.  Both Senators took their respective seats, and Hoversten led the remainder of the meeting through public voice, constituent reports, daily calendar considerations, and miscellaneous business.

Although the process of leading a Senate meeting was new to Hoversten, the newly-appointed VP is very familiar with the process of how things are run, having attended meetings on a regular basis throughout the school year. “When I was informed that I’d be needed to jump right in, I was a bit hesitant at first,” said Hoversten.  “But the more I thought about it, I’ve been to enough of these meetings that I know what the procedure is. The more I played things out in my mind, the more comfortable I became and by the time I was up there in that seat I was really relaxed.”

Neither Hoversten nor Trout lack experience attending Senate meetings, thus paving the way for a smooth transition as the school year comes to a close. “I have gone to quite a few Senate meetings,” said Trout. “I’m in a society, so I’m mainly present in the Spring during funding requests and budget allocation, so I kind of know how meetings are run.”

President Rashid expressed his excitement with each candidate, citing his past experience working with Hoversten on first-year class council, as well as the knowledge and passion Trout showed towards her position during the application process, “Max also served as a student-body rep when I was campus relations director, and he’s been to pretty much every meeting I’ve chaired as VP and President. I think he’s exceptionally qualified, and I think he’s going to do a phenomenal job making sure that this table moves forward constructively,” said Rashid,

“Senator Trout was a very qualified applicant, had done a lot of research on the position, and showcased that she had a passion in fighting for student academic needs,” said Rashid.  “I’m looking forward to training her and getting her ready for that position.”

Although two positions were filled this week, two more vacancies still remain on the table.  The candidates of Secretary and Environmental Action Advocate are expected to be announced next week, where they will be voted on and a decision will be made.