ASG elects new speaker, some express disagreement with Eikenberry appointment

Erica Snow, Assistant Campus Editor

Associated Student Government Senate elected Weinberg sophomore Nehaarika Mulukutla as its new speaker of the senate and Weinberg sophomore Shelby Reitman as its new parliamentarian Wednesday. Both will be sworn in next week.

Mulukutla will replace Weinberg senior Matt Clarkston. As speaker, she will be in charge of moderating debates, determining the agenda of each meeting and running the meetings.

Mulukutla beat Weinberg sophomore Jake Rothstein and SESP sophomore Josh O’Neil for the speaker seat. Mulukutla, a current Panhellenic Association senator, was also a member of the election commission that chose the executive board, or vice presidents of each committee.

Reitman, who represents Foster-Walker Complex, will replace Weinberg senior Scott Spicer as parliamentarian. She will take attendance, count votes and run the meetings when the speaker is absent. Reitman beat Weinberg sophomore Keaton Tatooles for the position.

“I know when I started Senate, I was unsure of some of the terms,” Reitman said when addressing Senate before the vote. “That made me sit there and not really have a voice because I didn’t really understand what was going on. Especially as we’re getting new senators, it’s important for them to feel that they have someone that they can go to and that way … all the voices can be heard.”

Later in the meeting, Senate introduced a resolution calling on Northwestern to withdraw its appointment of former ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry as executive director of the Buffett Institute for Global Studies. The resolution will be voted on next week, which will be Mulukutla’s first week as speaker.

“It may be a divisive issue because I know a lot of students were finding problems with (his) military background,” Mulukutla told The Daily. “I can tell that it might be a heated discussion. If it does happen to be something that personally charges people, I will hopefully be there to ensure that there is some decorum.”

ASG’s resolution on Eikenberry follows a letter to the editor in The Daily signed by faculty members who objected to his military ties. University President Morton Schapiro and Provost Dan Linzer, however, disagreed in their own letter to the editor in The Daily and wrote that his many years of experience and appointment by President Obama made him a strong candidate.

Weinberg senior Neha Reddy and SESP junior Matt Herndon, the authors of the resolution, said Eikenberry’s lack of a PhD and background in academia, along with former military experience, is not compatible with the mission of the Buffett Institute to be a global research facility.

Weinberg Prof. Jorge Coronado — who signed the initial letter to the editor — stood alongside Reddy and Herndon. The chair of the Spanish and Portuguese department, he has also worked as one of the co-directors of the Andean Cultures and Histories group at the Buffett Institute.

“The appointment impacts the students as much anybody else. I would say arguably more,” Coronado said. “So, in terms of support, I would say that it’s important for students to speak out because your voice has a huge impact on the university, on leadership, on your professors.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @ericasnoww