New ASG Senate speaker and parliamentarian elected, deputy speaker to be appointed


Julian Andreone/The Daily Northwestern

The Associated Student Government Senate elected Leah Ryzenman as the next speaker of the Senate and Grace Houren as the next Senate parliamentarian. Ryzenman will now begin her search for a deputy speaker.

Julian Andreone, Reporter

The Associated Student Government Senate unanimously elected SESP junior Leah Ryzenman as speaker of the Senate and Weinberg freshman Grace Houren as parliamentarian in the body’s annual leadership elections Monday. 

Before senators deliberated and voted on candidates, students nominated their peers or themselves for positions in front of the body. Candidates left the room and senators then spoke on behalf of candidates they supported. 

Ryzenman will succeed Weinberg junior Dylan Jost, who served as speaker for the last two years. She ran against Weinberg Senator and freshman Enzo Banal.

Ryzenman said she hopes to maximize the impact ASG can have while maintaining engagement, excitement and fun in Senate meetings.

“ASG is by the people, for the people,” Ryzenman said. “I know that’s a cliche, but if the people who are there don’t feel passionate, engaged or connected to what they’re doing and even to each other, the collaboration is not going to be there and the productivity is not going to be there.”

Jost praised Ryzenman and spoke to her character during the deliberation period.

He worked with her when she served as Senate parliamentarian in his first term and as deputy speaker in his second.

“I think she is more than qualified and more than capable of fulfilling the duties of the role,” Jost said during the meeting.

ASG Whip Ty’Shea Woods nominated Banal for the position.

Woods, a Weinberg freshman, said she nominated Banal because he impressed her in his leadership positions this year.

“Any position that he does do, he does to the fullest, which is why I felt confident in nominating him,” Woods said. “Even though he didn’t get this position, he’s still going to do great things within and beyond ASG. I’m just really excited to see where he goes moving forward.”

McCormick junior and ASG Executive Officer of Accountability Molly Whalen endorsed Ryzenman, who has now been elected or appointed to every position in Senate leadership.

Ryzenman added that she will look for an individual committed to collaborating with her and Houren when selecting a deputy speaker of the Senate.

Houren, who ran unopposed, said her main priority is continuing to facilitate the implementation of the new Senate structure and address senators’ concerns as the body moves forward.

“(I’m) trying to find a way to make legislation more meaningful, maybe working with the administration to make sure all the legislation we’re writing is stuff that can actually be implemented,” Houren said.

Implementing legislation and collaborating with administration also involves key ASG Executive Board members, like the president and vice president.

ASG President Jason Hegelmeyer said the consecutive unanimous votes showed off the supportive environment in which the organization operates.

“I’m super excited for both of them,” Hegelmeyer said. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @JulianAndreone

Related Stories: 

ASG Senate presents open positions for upcoming Senate leadership elections

ASG works to implement airport shuttle legislation

ASG Senate implements trial run to modify weekly meeting structure, selects Election Commission