Student Senate makes key appointments

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By Michael Wunder, News Editor

The UNO Student Senate made an assortment of appointments during the Aug. 28 meeting as members of the legislative body gathered for their first official meeting of the fall semester.

Arts and Sciences Sen. Stefanie Hoffman was unanimously appointed parliamentarian, an expert on parliamentary procedure who would act as a consultant for the senate.

Hoffman is a junior biotechnology and neuroscience major.  Her organizational skills and familiarity with parliamentary procedures made her the right choice for the position, she said.  She’s hoping to make some changes in the organization.

“I hope to make an impact in Student Government,” she said.

Tatiana Eskridge, a College of Fine Arts and Media senator, was unanimously appointed sergeant-at-arms.

The sergeant-at-arms keeps order during meetings and acts as an escort when fellow senators must exit the meeting for voting.  Eskridge, a senior vocal music education major, described her main role in her new position as “when it gets too hot in the oven, I cool it down with some water.”

The Senate appointed Senior Class Sen. Dylan Kriz to Academic Excellence Committee chairperson.  Though it is Kriz’s first year serving in UNO Student Government, he gained experience studying abroad in Norway.  While overseas, Kriz served in student government and planned vacations, organized events and served as a “diplomat” for the university in which he was enrolled.

Kriz explained his motivation for being involved in student government during a discussion session.

“As a student, all you can do is talk,” he said.  “But in student government, I’m empowered.”

When Kriz was escorted from the meeting for voting on his appointment, Arts and Sciences Sen. Terrence Batiste praised Kriz’s determination.

“His ambition speaks for itself,” Batiste said.  “His committee will be a strong indicator of his character.”

Kriz’s appointment was unanimous.

Martha Spangler, an Arts and Sciences senator, was unanimously appointed Campus Improvement Committee Chairperson.  Spangler, as part of the 2010 Freshman Leadership Council, helped develop the idea for an oversized greeting card to be presented during Freshman Convocation.

“I want to keep ideas flowing,” Spangler said.  “I never want to ideas to stop coming in.”

Sen. Batiste said Spangler “is a very engaging senator.”

Univeristy Division Sen. Tyler Gatrost was appointed Internal Affairs Committee chairperson.  Gatrost, a sophomore Business Adminstration major, said he was an “organized, concrete person.”

Though he has never organized an event for an education institution, Gatrost stressed his military leadership experience.

He was appointed unanimously.

Sen. Batiste was unanimously appointed Student Services Committee Chairperson.  Batiste said one of his priorities  was to amend an “inherently flawed” grading system where “plusses and minuses” make for a “dishonest” grade-point average.

Jenneken Beernink, Student Government’s public relations officer, took the podium to request Business Adminstration Sen. Ryan Kahanca’s appointment as her assistant.

Sen. Batiste questioned the appointment, asking where the constitution said Student Senate can create positions.

Student Body President-Regent Liz O’Connor said there was nothing in the constitution that didn’t allow it, either.

Kahanca was unanimously appointed, though during a pre-vote discussion, Sen. Batiste warned, “we must not allow ourselves to make up positions on the spot.”

Sen. Batiste worried a proclivity for job creation would lead to creating jobs simply to “fill resumes.”

Student Body President-Regent O’Connor and Vice President Bret Harrell also made reports during the session before the meeting adjourned.

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