Junior Connor Brady was elected speaker of Student Congress Wednesday night by a majority of the new members.
Brady won the vote 26-9 against the only other nominee, sophomore Austin Root.
When the full 95th Student Congress convened Wednesday for the first time, members were charged with the task of electing their speaker, speaker pro tempore and committee chairmen.
In what former speaker Paige Comparato called a first for the body, there was a motion to add a period of public comment before the election. It passed with no objections, and several students voiced their opinions.
Brittany Clark, the newly-elected ethics chairwoman, presided over the election of the new speaker.
In addition to Brady’s and Clark’s elections, John Guzek was elected speaker pro tempore, Will Stelpflug was elected chairman of the rules and judiciary committee, Brittany Best was elected chairwoman of the finance committee, and Jocelyn Burney was elected chairwoman of the oversight and advocacy committee.
Matt Farley was renominated and approved as student body treasurer by a vote of 24-0.
Prior to the vote for speaker, each candidate made an opening statement and answered questions from representatives.
In Brady’s opening statement, he discussed his passion for the job.
“It’s bigger than what goes on in this room,” he said.
Brady said his experience as speaker pro tempore in the last year would prove valuable in his role as speaker.
Both Brady and Root agreed that tuition and safety are top priorities for Student Congress.
“It is unacceptable for students to feel unsafe,” Brady said.
Brady said he is the first to admit that he and former Student Body President Will Leimenstoll had their differences, which are now in the past.
“Our biggest obstacle last year was our lack of communication, but (newly inaugurated Student Body President) Christy (Lambden) and I have a close relationship,” he said.
Lambden, who was present, said he was trying to separate personal from professional relationships.
“This is not my speaker, this is your speaker,” he said.
Brady also discussed further utilization of social media to enable Student Congress to become more accessible to students.
“Outreach is important, but so is ‘inreach,’” Brady said.
After more than an hour of each candidate responding to the questions of other representatives, a motion was finally made to close the floor to questions.
Brady said at the end that his election came on a great day.
“This is a great 21st birthday present.”
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