By Kristin Zagurski
After much dispute as to who would ultimately be inaugurated as student body president/regent for 2002, Shay Riggs will take oath and assume the office Wednesday.
Riggs said that while she is relieved the controversy has been seemingly resolved, she is also nervous about possible adverse reaction to her taking office.
“I don’t know how people are going to react to everything that’s happened,” Riggs said.
Another point of possible controversy is Riggs’ selection of Joe Bilek to serve as vice president, pending background checks by the university.
Bilek appeared as a vice presidential candidate on the ballot in October, but not as a partner to Riggs, rather as running mate to Mallory Prucha, the departing student body president/regent.
Prucha and Bilek came in second in the election with 224 votes, following Damien Coran and Riggs’s 369 votes.
Post-election, Coran was deemed ineligible to serve as student body president/regent by university legal counsel due to a prior felony conviction.
“I think that Bilek will do an excellent job,” Prucha said. “That’s why I picked him in the first place.”
Riggs said she was concerned that her appointment of Bilek might be seen as a form of betrayal by the Prucha/Bilek team, but she said the decision was political, not personal.
“A faculty member suggested Joe,” said Riggs, who also said she feels if you’re given a second chance, you should take it, making point of Bilek’s second chance to take office as vice president.
Riggs herself made Bilek’s original appointment to student government as a senator while she served as vice president under Will Marunda.
Riggs said the first thing she will do in office is get the Student Government’s constitution and bylaws in order and fix internal problems the Student Government is currently facing.
Other plans of Riggs’ include making Student Government more well-known on campus and in the community and to make the Student Government have a more welcoming environment.
Riggs is a senior majoring in human resources and family sciences.
A graduate of Omaha Marian High School, Riggs was named Panhellenic Collegian of the Year, and is the recipient of many awards, including the National Student Government Award.
She is a member of the Order of Omega Greek Honor Society and the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society.
She also volunteers for the Nebraska Children’s Home Society, the Siena/Francis House, the Juvenile Diabetes Silent Auction, Race for the Cure and the Special Olympics.
Riggs is the daughter of Paula Riggs and Matt Davis of Omaha.