SGA Senate nominates Douglass as speaker

SGA+Elections+take+place+on+March+30+and+March+31+via+HuskieLink.

Patrick Murphy

SGA Elections take place on March 30 and March 31 via HuskieLink.

Kierra Frazier, News Editor

DeKALB – Deputy Speaker Dallas Douglass accepted a nomination for speaker of the Student Government Association Senate for the 53rd session during Sunday’s Senate meeting.

Chairperson Cristian Hernandez nominated Douglass as the speaker while other senators agreed with the nomination, and no one else was nominated for the position. 

“I am honored to accept my nomination,” Douglass said in a Monday email. “As American society begins to function more normally, I hope to see changes in our culture, economy and health systems. Like all of you, I’m excited to face the world again, and I am more than prepared to put in the work to ensure that the changes NIU students experience are positive ones.” 

The speaker of the Senate is chosen by the Senate every spring for a one-year term in office, and serves as the spokesperson for the Senate, according to the SGA Bylaws. 

“As much as I have enjoyed my time in student government, I am a senior and I will be graduating from the university in just a couple of months – actually weeks at this point – and I was elected to serve a one year term of office that will expire at the end of May, and the Senate must elect a new speaker,” Speaker of the Senate Brad Beyer said. 

Senators will vote for a new speaker of the Senate at 5 p.m. during the March 21 Senate meeting via Microsoft Teams

Spring elections

Michael Verlinsky, chairperson of the Board of Elections, said ballots for the spring election will be released Wednesday. Once the ballot is posted, candidates are able to campaign until polls open on March 30 on HuskieLink.

Verlinsky said a total of 10 people have applied for the executive branch and 15 or 16 senators applied for the legislative branch.

Elected officials include senators, SGA president, vice president, treasurer and student trustee. 

“If all 15 or 16 of them ended up applying for non-conflicting seats in the new Senate model, that’ll mean we won’t have to have any other special election or anything and we’ll be meeting quorum before we actually start the year next year, which will be awesome,” Verlinsky said. 

Verlinsky also said the candidate debates may be in person but it’s still undecided. 

Elections take place on the last consecutive Tuesday and Wednesday of March – which is March 30 and March 31 – and results are announced no later than 36 hours after the polls have closed, according to the SGA bylaws. 

Other business

Senators passed a resolution to relieve the Senate of community service and public relation obligations at Sunday’s meeting, similar legislation has been passed the previous two semesters. 

Each semester, senators are expected to complete five hours of community service and attend at least one SGA public relations event, according to the SGA bylaws. However, due to COVID-19 and limitations on social gatherings, the resolution eliminated these obligations for the semester. 

The director of community service position is also still vacant, which makes it difficult to ensure community service requirements are being met, Beyer said. 

“It’s unfortunate; in a perfect world, we would be able to do more of this, but I know that hopefully, as the weather warms up and we can do more outdoor events, there will be opportunities to do community service,” Beyer said.