SA Senate welcomes new speaker


Student Association (SA) Senator Mike Theodore (left), James Zanayed (center), new SA Senate Speaker, and Senator Kelsey Shockey (right) enjoy a meal after the SA held its last meeting of the semester Sunday at the Campus Life Building, Room 100.

By Felix Sarver

The Student Association (SA) Senate welcomed a new speaker at a meeting Sunday.

SA Senate Speaker Austin Quick, who’s served in the SA since 2009, passed the torch to former Senator James Zanayed. He was sworn into his new role by John Jones III, SA adviser and associate vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

As speaker, Zanayed will manage the Senate, which is one of the three branches of the SA. The Senate is responsible for approving student organizations, appropriating funds for various SA efforts and reviewing actions made by the executive branch.

Zanayed said as speaker he will focus on representing the student voice through the senators. He said he believes he will work well with SA President Delonte LeFlore.

Zanayed said Quick’s way of handling the Senate has worked and he doesn’t see much change that is needed. He said he will always request the best efforts of the senators. He’s hopeful about next semester because there is a lot of young leadership in the Senate.

“I have big shoes to fill but I’m confident in my ability to do so,” Zanayed said.

Zanayed said one of the issues he plans on addressing next semester is bystander intervention and developing an amnesty policy for students who need medical treatment. He said he also plans on developing the Huskie spirit among students by trying to get them to visit athletic events.

The SA Senate passed a resolution to thank Quick during the meeting. Senator Brian Troutman, the resolution’s author, said Quick was an advocate for change and the Senate owes him a lot.

“Personally, I would say that serving beside him as senator and serving under him as president pro tempore, I gained a lot of wisdom and a lot of guidance,” Troutman said.

Quick said leaving the SA feels great because he knows working for it has never been about him but the organization. He said the SA is in a good place to fight and speak on the behalf of students. He said the plus-minus grading debate was a good example of students getting engaged and understanding the importance of their voice.

“As I leave here I realize there’s an awakened student body,” Quick said. “That is all that matters to me.”

Quick said after graduation he will work as the district director for the office of Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon.

The Senate recognized the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired and also recognized the Chinese Club.