ASG Senate confirms one student life co-VP, rejects other


Sophie Mann/Daily Senior Staffer

Associated Student Government president and SESP junior Christina Cilento (left) swears in SESP junior Anna DiStefano as a co-vice president for student life at Wednesday’s Senate meeting. Senate rejected the nomination of SESP sophomore Sumaia Masoom as the other co-vice president for student life.

Erica Snow, Assistant Campus Editor

Associated Student Government confirmed one co-vice president for student life and rejected the nomination for the second co-vice president at Senate on Wednesday.

SESP junior Anna DiStefano will succeed McCormick junior Wendy Roldan as vice president for student life. The nomination of SESP sophomore Sumaia Masoom failed to obtain the required two-thirds majority necessary for confirmation, with a 19-10-0 vote.

The selection committee, which accepts applications and conducts interviews for some vice presidential candidates, will reopen applications and present a candidate for the second co-vice president position, said chief of staff Isaac Rappoport, a Weinberg junior. The committee could renominate Masoom, he added.

DiStefano, the social justice coalition senator, said she wanted to partner with Masoom since their leadership capabilities complemented each other’s.

“I really, sincerely wanted Sumaia to be my co-VP and I’m sincerely disappointed that that didn’t happen in this room today,” DiStefano told The Daily after the meeting. “I would love to see her again as a candidate.”

As stated in the ASG Code, the student life committee traditionally has only had one vice president. However, SESP freshman Ben Powell motioned to suspend the rules so he could introduce legislation to change the code, allowing for two vice presidential nominations to be considered.

Each nomination was considered separately, a change from Powell’s original legislation, which would have voted to confirm the two simultaneously.

Rappoport, the chair of the selection committee, said the two were seen as a pair with similar visions to improve student life. By splitting the responsibilities between two vice presidents, he said the executives could meet with more student groups and administrators.

“One of the conversations that was had in the selection committee was about fit and about making sure that if we were to split this position, making sure that the two people that are there are compatible,” he said when addressing senators before the vote. “In the interviews and hearing from people who know both Sumaia and Anna, they felt they would work well together and have similar visions for the position.”

Before the vote, some senators questioned Masoom’s ability to represent all students’ beliefs due to her activist background. Masoom said she was committed to talking with student groups and gauging student opinion so she would be able to represent the student body to administrators.

Masoom said although she supported Northwestern Divest, she would be open to meet with other groups like Wildcats for Israel because her role as a student representative would require her to engage with differing opinions.

“When I take on this position, my personal opinions about any political issues should take a backseat to what the majority of the student body feels is necessary,” Masoom said before the vote. “I’m not here to advance my own personal agenda. If I wanted to advance my own personal agenda, I would probably stay outside of ASG. … I’m here to work and be a mouthpiece for the student body.”

Earlier in the meeting, Senate confirmed Weinberg junior Ashley Wood to replace Weinberg senior Riko Ohashi as vice president for academics. Senators also confirmed Weinberg freshman Anand Lal-Tabak as the new vice president for sustainability, the position previously held by current ASG president Christina Cilento, a SESP junior.

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