New speaker elected at SGA meeting, senators sworn in

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Thursday night’s Student Governing Association meeting, which marks the start of the 2013-14 SGA term, included the election of a new Speaker of the Student Senate as well as the unveiling of the new ICAT T-shirts.

Amid the intermittent inaugurations of next semester’s senators, the key item on the agenda was the election of former speaker pro-tempore Kyle Nuss, senior in architectural engineering, as the new Student Senate speaker. Nuss was confident that his experience as speaker pro-tempore was a solid bridge to the speaker position.

“I’ve spent three years in the senate body as, kind of a decision-maker, but at the same time I’ve spent time as a facilitator,” Nuss said. “I’m really excited, after splitting time [between the two roles], for what the senate can accomplish.”

Nuss agreed that his new position is a good fit for his personality.

“I’m not an overly opinionated person,” Nuss said. “So, with my experience, background and knowledge, I feel this is the role in which I can best serve the senate.”

Nuss ran on a platform of new member integration in the senate, continuity within SGA and better representation of currently underrepresented groups to increase SGA involvement on campus.

The final results saw Nuss top Ryan Patterson, junior in general business and human resource management, and Megan Walden, senior in industrial engineering, with 31 votes, while 17 voted for Patterson and 7 for Walden. After both Patterson and Walden declined nomination for speaker pro-tempore, Kaitlin Long, senior in entrepreneurship, was named to the position.

The evening included some lighthearted moments in addition to the SGA’s usual business.

Adam Pro, assistant athletic director and athletic department liaison to students, introduced senators to the new ICAT T-shirts, which were emblazoned with the slogan “Nothing is more important than family.” The word “family” is pictured in its well-known form on a brick that K-State football players often bring onto the field with them during introductions.

A video played for the senators of student athletes Ryan Mueller, junior football player, and Shane Southwell, junior basketball player, “accidentally” interrupting a K-State class along with Willie the Wildcat and The Pride of Wildcat Land Marching Band with Big 12 trophies in hand.

Throughout the evening as senate members were sworn in, they were asked to compare themselves to a fruit that represents them. It was not a student, though, who got the most applause.

“I’m like a prune, because I make things happen,” said Bill Smriga, student life representative to SGA and director of the K-State Student Union, as the room filled with laughter.

At Thursday night’s inaugural meeting, Ava Clark, freshman in industrial engineering, who was a senate intern last term, reflected on her own first meeting.

“I remember my first time in a senate meeting it seemed like they were speaking a foreign language,” Clark said. “So, I’m excited to help others in their first term kind of figure it out.”

Clark also said she was excited to get the opportunity to vote in this term, something she could not do as an intern.

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