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Libby Nelson

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By Libby NelsonThe Daily Northwestern

Could next spring’s ASG presidential race create a divided house?

Executive Vice President Rishi Taparia and Speaker of the Senate Jonathan Webber don’t separate when they leave the Associated Student Government’s office on the third floor of Norris University Center. The two juniors are roommates, too.

As the most powerful ASG members who will return next year, it’s likely that Taparia. a Communication junior, and Webber, a SESP junior, will share not only an address but space on the presidential ballot.

It’s hard to predict who would come out on top. Taparia replaced current ASG President Jay Schumacher, a Communication senior, as EVP this spring. His position, unlike Webber’s, is democratically elected. But an appointed off-campus senator and a committee chairwoman have both won the campus’s vote for president in the past. Can one apartment be the headquarters for two campaigns?

But next year might already be old news.

Matt Bogusz, ASG’s election chairman, recently managed the residence hall senator election to wide acclaim. An alumnus came back to speak in his favor during executive committee elections, when experienced candidates seemed guaranteed a win. The Weinberg sophomore also wore a suit and jacket to last week’s meeting, where jeans were de rigeur, putting him in the dressed-up company of Taparia, Webber, Schumacher and an ambitious freshman.

It’s a pretty serious approach if you’re already a popular committee member with student group executives speaking in your favor.

Will Bogusz take the Schumacher route to the top, going from executive committee to executive vice president to ASG president?

ASG’s powerful are also tightening their belts, if Saturday’s Senate retreat is any indication.

A combination of team-building and logistic instruction, the retreat kicks off a new year for senators.

This year, the board members took their senators all the way to Norris University Center’s Purdue Room. Does staying in the same building where you put in 40-hour weeks count as a retreat? Well, it beats the $4,000 jaunts to Lake Geneva, Wis., the Senate took in past years.

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