Student Senate cabinet elected, senators installed after technical difficulties

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Gano Chapel and the Yates-Gill Union. Photo by Catherine Dema.

On Oct. 2, William Jewell College announced that the Student Senate Cabinet “Your Voice on the Hill” won the annual election. The Cabinet consists of Olivia Eggleston, senior nonprofit leadership and Applied Critical Thought and Inquiry major, as president; Tavarus Pennington, junior communication and English major, as vice president; Grace Garbe, junior communication and nonprofit leadership major, as secretary; and Ireland Hawkins, senior accounting major, as treasurer.

The new Cabinet will host the first Senate meeting of the 2020-2021 year Oct. 13.

Elections for Student Senate Cabinet began Sept. 30 and concluded at the end of the day Oct. 1. To conduct the election, the office of student life used ElectionRunner – a third party service. This service failed to provide every student with a ballot Sept. 30. 

When ballots were initially sent out, 118 students did not receive ballots. To resolve this issue, Tracy Hart, administrative assistant in student life, had to individually send all 118 students ballots. Shelly King, dean of students, confirmed that all students eventually received ballots. She sent an all-student email notifying those who did not receive ballots to contact Hart, in order to insure every student was able to vote. King assured that ElectionRunner will not be used for any future elections.

Elections for student senator positions were set to take place from Oct. 5 to Oct. 6. Only four students ran for student senator positions, and all were installed as senators Oct. 5. Student Senate is comprised of sixteen students in addition to the cabinet – with four students representing each grade. 

Three first-years filed to run for Senate and will now represent the class: Chloe McDonnell, Oxbridge: History of Ideas major; Luke Zahnd, Oxbridge: Institutions and Policy major; and Calvin Heit, Oxbridge: Institutions and Policy major. One student ran to be a sophomore class representative and is now installed on Senate: Gabrielle Fournier, Spanish and international relations major.

The remaining 12 positions will be filled according to the appointment process defined in the Student Senate constitution.

“The executive cabinet shall appoint a full-time William Jewell student to fill any vacant seat. The appointee shall be approved by a simple majority vote of the senate,” the constitution states.

The Cabinet will need to appoint one first-year, three sophomores, four juniors and four seniors. During the annual Student Senate debates, “Your Voice on the Hill” claimed they would intentionally appoint some independent students in order to confirm independent representation on Senate – as everyone on the Cabinet is a member of Greek Life.

King commented on the low number of students running for Senate.

“Over the past few years, we’ve only had to hold elections for first-year students due to the lack of interest,” King said.

The Hilltop Monitor will publish the names of all senators once they are appointed.

Catherine Dema

Catherine Dema is the page editor for Features & Investigations on The Hilltop Monitor. She is a senior majoring in Oxbridge: History of Ideas and physics.

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