SA Senate left with less than 20 reps


Senator Brandon Phillips offers a friendly motion to Senator Tristan Martin’s bill to have executive reports once every two weeks to the senate in-person only.

By Alex Chettiath

DeKalb | The Student Associate Senate was forced to amend their bylaws to allow them to function next semester with less than 20 senators elected, due to two senators resigning.

The Senate is responsible for the SA budget which currently is more than $6.5 million. This money is used to provide services to the students of NIU including Huskie Line, Campus Recreation, Students’ Legal Assistance, Off-Campus and Non-Traditional Student Services, Event Production Services and Campus Activities Board.

Deputy Senate Speaker Robert Kreml and Senator Bethany Vanover resigned from serving in the SA for the upcoming year. Both were elected as senators for the upcoming session.

Vanover, who has been a member of the SA since 2015, said she quit because she felt that a majority of the members of SA were serving their needs rather than the needs of the students. Vanover used the example of Greek students and non-Greek students forming a two-party system in SA.

“Everything was fine until the nuance of representing the students kind of dissipated, when I realized that there was fighting between the senators, arguing and accusations going on,” Vanover said. “I just don’t want to deal with that anymore.”

Vanover said she doesn’t know what will fix the SA.

Kreml said he quit because of acts of defamation of character against him during the meeting to vote on the senate speaker, specifically Senator Matthew Holt’s accusation against Kreml of taking credit for a contact list.

Kreml said this could impede the progress of any work he is associated with.

“I just felt that as a public authority, it would be better off stepping aside and letting other people pursue the leadership positions and get some fresh new faces on there,” Kreml said.

Kreml was in the running for senate speaker but lost. Kreml’s resignation came the day after the election.

Temporary legislation, that was passed at the SA Senate meeting April 17, allows the current senators in SA to approve senators at large for the following session, despite not all senators returning for the next session. The bill was amended to repeal itself by the start of the fall semester and was passed unanimously.

“Basically, what happened was we had such a low turnout for SA candidates so we actually only turned out to have 20 senators elected for the next year, and we have to have 20 to function,” said Senate Speaker-elect Christine Wang. “When two senators resigned that dropped us down to 18, and we couldn’t use special elections… .”

The Senate elections saw 20 candidates run for 40 open positions.

Wang said 20 people have to show up to the Senate meetings, and they wouldn’t be able to meet with less than that.