Matthew Wylie re-elected ASG speaker, Zack Lori elected parliamentarian


Daily file photo by Yunkyo Kim

Current speaker of the Senate Matthew Wylie. The Weinberg junior came under fire at Wednesday’s Senate meeting for his sharing of a racist meme in a private ASG communication channel in January.

Yunkyo Kim, Assistant Campus Editor

Amid technical challenges, Associated Student Government elected the speaker of the Senate and parliamentarian for the 2020-2021 school year at its remote Wednesday session.

Weinberg sophomore and current speaker of the Senate Matthew Wylie was reelected in an uncontested race. Although it is uncommon for the speaker to repeat the role, Wylie said it was vital to have stability during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As an individual who spends an absurd amount of time thinking about parliamentary procedures and the ways in which it can be tricky, I would love to be the speaker of the Senate for a second year,” Wylie said. “And especially right now, I feel that it’s important that we try to maintain some kind of continuity.”

Wylie added that his familiarity with Robert’s Rules of Order — the most widely used manual of parliamentary procedure in the United States — as well as previous experience as an incumbent made him a good candidate to continue the position.

In his tenure as the speaker of the Senate, Wylie proposed and passed an amendment to reduce the number of Senate seats to battle chronic absenteeism and help with quorum, the minimum of senators required to be present to pass laws.

Zack Lori, a Weinberg freshman, was elected to the role of the parliamentarian in his race against SESP sophomore Daniel Rodriguez. Lori will replace Weinberg sophomore Elizabeth Sperti, who did not run for reelection.

“Something that’s important to consider is that (the parliamentarian) is a very internal role,” Sperti said. “The reality is that your main responsibility is monitoring attendance and administrative work related to that and managing the rules committee.”

In their speeches, both Lori and Rodriguez emphasized their experience and attendance in the student senate and outlined plans to adapt to a remote quarter.

Rodriguez highlighted his work drafting legislation on free speech and support for communities of marginalized identities and said he wanted to continue this through the parliamentarian position, on top of increased outreach and transparency.

“I would also want to work especially with whoever does come to be the new representations of the Senate and the (executive board),” he said. “(I would) work with them to really make sure that our Constitution is reflective and accessible for all students.”

Lori has been serving as a member of the rules committee, which regulates policy. His attention to detail and dedication, as well as his experience in the committee, sets him up to serve as the next parliamentarian, some Senate members said.

In his role, Lori said, he seeks to update the ASG constitution to adapt to a remote Spring Quarter. This would also include authorization that the rules committee would have the ability to review the constitution.

He added that as a senator with perfect attendance, he will be easily able to fulfill the role of encouraging increased attendance as well as keeping records of senators.

“As you all know, parliamentarians are supposed to make sure everything makes sense,” Lori said. “Obviously you want someone who shows up a lot to be the head of attendance.”

Wylie and Lori will be sworn into their respective roles of the speaker of the Senate and parliamentarian next week.

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