Senate elects new speaker, parliamentarian


Sylvana Caruso/The Daily Northwestern

Noah Whinston (left) was elected the new Speaker of the Senate on Wednesday. He takes over the position from Noah Star who is now running for ASG president.

Madeline Fox, Assistant Campus Editor

Three Associated Student Government positions changed hands at the group’s weekly Senate meeting Wednesday night.

Other business was tabled after many attendees left to attend Speaker Noah Star’s presidential campaign launch party.

Weinberg junior Noah Whinston was elected the new Speaker of the Senate, replacing Star, a Weinberg junior. Whinston, who joined Senate last quarter as an off-campus senator, said he thinks he can use his relatively limited experience with ASG to make it a more welcoming environment for new members.

“I believe that the voices of students need to be heard and acted on by the administration, and the Senate’s job is to amplify those voices,” Whinston said. “It’s our role to make changes on the important issues, which is very distinct from just talking about it.”

Whinston said he plans to focus on fairness, accessibility and accountability as speaker.

Senate elected Weinberg junior Matt Clarkston as parliamentarian, replacing Weinberg senior Dana Leinbach. Clarkston, who serves as off-campus caucus whip and a member of the rules committee, said he intends to ensure debate is conducted “smoothly, fairly and to the benefit of everyone in the chamber.”

The Senate also moved to confirm McCormick sophomore Sandeep Bharadwaj as the director of dining initiatives, issues he focused on while serving on the student life committee for the past year.

ASG will be able to distribute $7,000 more in funding to student groups this spring, said Kenny Mok, vice president of B-status finances. The Weinberg junior said they will open this week a supplementary round of funding for B-status groups—organizations that receive only a few hundred dollars or less from ASG per quarter.

Last month, Mok cautioned that most student groups would receive less funding than they requested because Spring Quarter funding requests exceeded those for the same period last year by $10,000.

Senators also discussed a resolution supporting the federal Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act and ratifying the charter of the Coalition of Chicago Colleges and Universities.

The CHIA would reword tax laws to allow tax-exempt charitable and educational organizations to make grants to nonprofit student housing entities that provide collegiate student housing, such as fraternities, sororities and organizations like the Evans Scholars.

Communication sophomore Allison Kitain, who introduced the resolution, said she intends to discuss it with lawmakers this month during ASG’s annual lobbying trip to Washington as part of Big Ten on the Hill.

Weinberg senior and Executive Vice President Erik Zorn asked the Senate to ratify the charter for the Coalition of Chicago Colleges and Universities, an organization to advocate on behalf of students to local governments and to serve as a liaison between student groups at Chicago-area universities.

The Senate will revisit the resolutions next week.

Senators were scheduled to discuss a resolution voicing support for proposed state legislation to “make colleges and universities more accountable to rape victims.” However, they were unable to because Senate no longer had a quorum after many members left for Star’s campaign launch.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the reason senators did not vote on the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act and on ratifying the charter of the Coalition of Chicago Colleges and Universities. Senators were unable to vote because the items were simply introduced and are scheduled to be voted on at next week’s meeting. The Daily regrets the error.

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