SGA Senate approves chief of staff, director of cultural affairs

Senator+Ethan+DeMeuse+%28left%29+takes+notes+during+the+Aug.+29+Senate+meeting.+SGA+Senate+meets+at+5+p.m.+every+Sunday+in+the+Capitol+Room+of+the+HSC.

Zulfiqar Ahmed I Northern Star

Senator Ethan DeMeuse (left) takes notes during the Aug. 29 Senate meeting. SGA Senate meets at 5 p.m. every Sunday in the Capitol Room of the HSC.

Kierra Frazier, Managing Editor

DeKALBThe Student Government Association Senate welcomed one new director and chief of staff on Sunday at its weekly meeting. 

Senators voted to fill the positions of director of cultural affairs and chief of staff but denied a motion to fill the role of the Greek life director. The chief of staff and directors within SGA are paid positions, according to the SGA bylaws. 

Senators struck down a motion 2-13-1 Sunday to approve Nathan Kemnetz, sophomore marketing major, as the director of Greek life due to his lack of experience prior to COVID-19. Kemnetz joined a fraternity in Spring 2021.

“I’m kind of in the same boat as you,” Senator Breanna Villeda said. “I joined my sorority in Spring 2021, and I don’t really feel like I would be comfortable being in an executive position like this.” 

Kemnetz said he felt as though everybody could benefit from more experience, such as the director role, and he would’ve used his previous leadership experience from high school if he were approved Sunday night. 

“I’m really leadership-driven,” Kemnetz said. “I would like to apply that as much as I can to a higher position because I know that I can handle it. I’m just very driven when it comes to that kind of thing.”  

SGA President Devlin Collins will have to appoint a different student for the role since the motion was denied Sunday night.

Von Sidney Williamson II, senior economics major, will serve as the SGA chief of staff after the SGA Senate approved Williamson for the position 16-0-0 at Sunday’s meeting. As chief of staff, Williamson said he hopes to hold those in SGA accountable and communicate with SGA staff effectively. 

Alejandra Hernandez, a transfer music performance major, was approved as the director of cultural affairs 16-0-0. Hernandez said as the director of cultural affairs, she hopes to meet many students to help solve their concerns. 

“I’ve worked with students from all backgrounds and walks of life, and I can’t wait to bring what I’ve learned there into here,” Hernandez said. “I applied for this position so that I can be a part of something that is very to myself, to help create a safe, equitable and inclusive community for everyone, but especially the most marginalized.”

Senators also approved a bill to raise the required signatures for filling Senate vacancies at Sunday’s meeting. SGA Senate initially lowered the number to 25 signatures during the COVID-19 pandemic because there were no in-person events.

Now, candidates running for a Senator position must collect 50 signatures from students prior to submitting an application to the Speaker of the Senate.