SA Senate prepares for speaker elections

By Shaz Sheikhali

Student Association senators nominated speaker candidates at their Senate meeting Sunday. Speaker elections will be held next week.

The SA speaker is the regulator of SA Senate meetings and the senators. He or she is also the acting voice of the student body, as are the respected senators. SA Senate Speaker James Zanayed, who will graduate this semester, opened the floor for the senators to nominate candidates. The speaker elections will be held Sunday.

The following were nominated:

• Senator Novella Blackmon nominated Senator Alonte Holliday.

• Senator Philip Nanni nominated Senator Dillon Domke.

• Senator Chloe Pooler nominated Senator Ben Donovan.

• Senator Kubrat Vrachanski nominated Senator Brandon Phillips.

• Senator Miki Grace nominated Senator Cassie Dodd.

Mike Theodore, SA chief of staff, told the Senate he hopes to see a strong leader elected.

“Officially, the executive is staying neutral in this race. I can tell you that we are looking for a leader,” Theodore said. “This is a position that is in line with the executive side. It is a leadership position. We’re not just expecting someone to do the job.

“This is a high pay grade, upper-level position; we want someone who is going to be ready to come in and do the job and is going to work with us in equal footing. We want the Senate to be strong. When the Senate is strong, we’re strong.”

SA Vice President Kaliah Smith told the Senate she has a committee that is working on hosting an informational session for organization advisers, showing them how to better connect with their organizations and with the SA. She hopes to host the session in the first week of December.

Mass Transit Director Joe Frascello said he is in the process of trying to obtain a grant for NIU mass transit, and he plans to have a grant within two years. The director hopes to use the grant to add more buses to the routes.

Frascello also announced tweaks to the bus tracker: Buses 1, 2 and 3 will now be labeled on the visual tracker as left or right.

“My goal is to minimize drawbacks and take advantage of positives,” Frascello said. “Student feedback is important, and I hope to use my newly formed student-based committee to its best.”

Paul Julion, director of Athletics and Recreation, announced there will be free hot dogs and hot chocolate for the students at Wednesday’s football game against Ball State. Zanayed said there will be free face painting during the tailgate.

Bill Nicklas, vice president of Public Safety and Community Relations, spoke to the senators and told them NIU will start sending out text advisories.