Key SGA positions filled reflect a more united student organization
During the summer, and especially over the past few weeks, the UMBC SGA has been busy preparing for the new school year. Ganesh Mysore, a senior chemical engineering and political science double major and the current SGA President, conducted interviews to fill leadership positions in departments and the Executive Branch. Before these appointees can fully begin their work, however, they must be brought before members of the Senate to be confirmed. Thus, the first sessions of Senate were dedicated to questioning and confirming the new department leaders and cabinet members.
The first item on the agenda was to choose a Speaker and Assistant Speaker for Senate. Due to the enormous responsibilities associated with the job, this was the most controversial vote to take place during the meeting. Both candidates for Speaker had been involved with SGA Senate for a majority of their college careers and had strong ideas to bring to the position.
Behind closed doors, they were questioned by other members of Senate for much longer than the allotted thirty minutes. After an hour, Hannah Khan, a senior biology major, was voted Speaker, and Sahand Yazdanyar, a senior studying political science and media and communication studies, was voted Assistant Speaker. Both won their positions within a 6-5-majority vote.
The next item on the agenda was the confirmation of executive branch appointees. Compared to the Speaker and Assistant Speaker votes, the confirmations of executive branch members were streamlined and efficient.
For each nominee, Mysore gave a short introduction and explained his reasoning for choosing them for the position. Next, Senate members questioned the nominees. This year the questions were limited but concise. Members took note of their qualifications but questioned them extensively on their commitment and dedication to their jobs. Most agreed with the nominations, and all the nominees were successfully confirmed.
There are still pending confirmations for SGA Treasurer and Vice President of Student Organizations; however, the past record suggests that they will easily be confirmed.
According to Hannah Khan, who has served on the Senate for two years, this speed and efficiency during confirmations is normal. There are little to no complications, as the sponsor and nominee always come prepared and ready to answer to the Senate.
However, this year, she believes that the results of the confirmations reflect a more united SGA. The ease with which nominees are confirmed shows the trust and unity between the Senate and SGA and suggests that Senate will be more united when voting on legislation proposed by the SGA. Additionally, department leaders have begun reaching out to one another to begin working on new initiatives, foreshadowing the teamwork that could be prevalent throughout this year.
If this voting record continues, the Senate has the possibility of making great strides. Along with the enthusiasm of the department leaders, SGA could have an even greater impact on the school community than in previous years.