Associated Student Government swears in student body-elected executive board members

Victor Shao (right), swears in Ani Ajith (left), the new president of Associated Student Government at the senate meeting Wednesday evening.

Skylar Zhang/Daily Senior Staffer

Victor Shao (right), swears in Ani Ajith (left), the new president of Associated Student Government at the senate meeting Wednesday evening.

Junnie Kwon, Assistant Campus Editor

After swearing in its newest leaders Wednesday, the Associated Student Government Senate discussed internal financial planning for the next academic year and heard funding requests from three student groups.

Former ASG president Victor Shao and executive vice president Brad Stewart officially passed on their torches to Weinberg junior Ani Ajith and McCormick junior Alex Van Atta. Weinberg junior Sofia Sami and Communication junior Anna Kottenstette, a Daily staffer, were sworn in as academic vice president and student life vice president, respectively. McCormick sophomore Jenn Huang was elected to a new ASG position, director of dining.

Following the transitions, a committee consisting of ASG’s top officials presented its proposal for next academic year’s Senate budget. Their budget totals $62,000, $15,600 more than this year’s budget.

The increase comes from a variety of changes, including doubling the Senate project pool to $15,000, cutting half of Martin Luther King Jr. Day funding to $10,000 and fully funding the 10K Initiative instead of relying on the Division of Student Affairs to cover half of it.

The Senate will vote on the budget next week.

Later on in the meeting, the Senate rejected a proposed resolution to honor former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher for her contributions “to female empowerment and freedom around the world.”

“I’m advocating what she did for my chance in politics and all of the other ladies in this room,” said College Republicans president Rebecca Schieber, the senator who wrote the resolution.

Some senators bristled at recognizing Thatcher due to some of her decisions while in power. Senator Petros Karahalios said he could not vote for legislation honoring the person who advocated for laws the Weinberg sophomore called “homophobic.”

Although the Senate rejected Schieber’s legislation, it passed a bill improving the process for selecting off-campus senators. The bill, proposed and written by off-campus caucus whip Ian Coley, moves up the appointment of off-campus senators to the second-to-last Senate meeting of the academic year as a way of easing the transition process.

The bill also removes the executive vice president from the off-campus senator selection committee and adds two off-campus senators who are not seeking re-election. Lastly, the legislation allows off-campus caucuses to elect their own whips.

The last three bills introduced in Senate involved funding requests for campus programming.

Deering Days members asked for $350 from the Senate project pool to put on a dance showcase for their second annual Welcome Week BBQ. Another request asked for $1,000 to co-sponsor Norris University Center’s upcoming Blues and BBQ event. Dillo Day asked for $2,500 to help set up its new second stage called “Dillo Village.”

The funding requests will be voted on next week.