Student Body President-elect Andrew Powell presented his appointments to Congress, first recommending Kyle Villemain for student body vice president.
“It was clear that Kyle would be right beside me when I’m pulling 40, 50, 60 hour weeks,” Powell said.
Multiple Congress members raised concerns about Villemain’s lack of experience in student government.
Villemain said though he’s been more externally focused, it’s given him the ability to develop a network and skill set that he will apply to the position.
“There shouldn’t be such a divide between external and internal,” he said. “One of the biggest pros I bring to the table is a calm, level head at times when we are up the creek without a paddle.”
When the approval went to the floor, he was approved by a 16-2 vote with eight abstaining votes. Approvals require two-thirds of voters to be in attendance.
However, there was some confusion among members about what abstaining votes mean.
Up next was a vote to approve Brittany Best as student body treasurer. Powell said he chose Best because of her experience as Congress finance committee chair.
Congress Speaker Connor Brady co-sponsored the bill to approve Best as treasurer. He said though finance is not an easy job, she does it exceptionally.
“Student organizations would riot if we did not approve her because of the respect and customer service she gives them,” he said.
Congress approved Best by a vote of 25 in favor with one abstention, which was cast by Best herself.
Up next for approval was Allie Polk , Powell’s appointment for secretary. Powell said he selected Polk because she has innovative ways to help student government be more engaged with students in more accessible ways.
Polk was approved by a vote of 18-1, with six abstaining.
Congress then moved onto a bill to change the election format. The bill passed, allowing for an instant runoff election in which voters rank the candidates.
It eliminates the need for a runoff election at a later date because it recalculates the vote based on how voters ranked the candidates.
Zach Ferguson , sponsor of the bill, said that both N.C. State University and Duke University had found the instant runoff to be more efficient. Ferguson said the instant runoff forces students to engage with platforms of multiple candidates. He also said it is helpful in limiting negative campaigning.
“You want to appeal to everyone, even the other candidates’ voters, because you want to be their second choice.”