SGA elects new speaker of the Senate and associate speaker

By Catherine Ferris

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(Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian)

(Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian)

After speeches and presentations from seven candidates for the positions of speaker of the Senate and associate speaker, Lauren Coakley and Julie Brunelle were declared the winners, respectively.

The Student Government Association gathered Monday night as four nominees – Maddie Goldstein, Tyler O’Day, Amy Gebo and Coakley – explained why they were the best choice for the position of speaker of the Senate. The three candidates who were nominated for the associate speaker position were Michael Hout, Hayden Grahl and Brunelle.

Candidates for both positions agreed transparency was an issue that should be worked on within the SGA to improve relations with other campus agencies and organizations, as well as being more open with the student body in general.

Coakley said she was able to see the SGA through multiple lenses due to the number of positions she has held within the organization.

She was a special assistant her first year, a senator at the beginning of this academic year and became the associate speaker in November.

Coakley also said she wants to be able to focus on helping senators with any projects they may be working on.

Candidates also expressed similar sentiments in response to a question president-elect and current Speaker of the Senate Sïonan Barrett asked in regards to what kind of relationship the SGA and the Center for Education Policy and Advocacy shared.

All the candidates who were asked this question said although the relationship was strained between the two organizations, they hoped to strengthen ties in the future.

Brunelle suggested a bonding session between the two groups to have a more personal relationship.

After the first round of voting, Gebo received six votes, O’Day received 12 votes and there was a tie between Coakley and Goldstein, in which each candidate received 13 votes.

For the associate speaker election, Hout received nine votes, Grahl received 16 votes and Brunelle received 19.

A second vote was called to order and Brunelle won the associate speaker position with 26 votes. Grahl received 15 votes. Two people decided to abstain and there was one vote for Secretary of University Policy Stefan Herlitz.

There was a final vote for the speaker of the Senate position between Coakley, who received 17 votes, and Goldstein, who received 15 votes. O’Day received 12 votes in that round.

In the final round of voting, Coakley won in a close margin with 23 votes, as Goldstein received 18 votes. One person abstained.

Catherine Ferris can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Ca_Ferris2.