The Student Governing Association voted in a new speaker and speaker pro tempore of the Senate and during Thursday night’s meeting. Jack Ayres, senior in chemical engineering, was elected the speaker and Stephen Kucera, senior in music performance and accounting, was voted as speaker pro tempore.
Ayers gained the position as speaker of the Senate in a vote of 29-21 against Chance Hunley, senior in agricultural communications and journalism. Several members of the Senate spoke on behalf of both Ayers and Hunley in a closed discussion before voting.
“The leader of this body is a leader of leaders,” Olivia Baalman, sophomore in computer science, said. “And snowballing off of that, I think (Ayers) can make himself a really good resource to each and every one of us.”
Kucera was elected as speaker pro tempore of the Senate in a 27-22 vote against Kylie Andres, junior in communication studies. His new position was supported by a list of goals he hoped to achieve in the 2016-2017 academic year.
“The big thing I want to do is to make sure we create a strong future here in student government, for the new people walking into the room, and for the new people that are going to walk into this room behind you,” Kucera said.
Nicholas Nordstrom, freshman in biology, spoke to the Senate to endorse Kucera’s position.
“I really think he embodies everything that K-State is,” Nordstrom said. “The family, reaching out to others and finding voices that aren’t really heard and really using them to help alleviate the things that need to be done here.”
Ken Selzer, Kansas insurance commissioner, and Cindy Hermes, director of public outreach for the Kansas Insurance Department, spoke to SGA about a possible “no texting and driving” pledge fueled by the rivalry between K-State and the University of Kansas. The idea was based on a similar program hosted in South Carolina, where Clemson University and the University of South Carolina competed against each other.
Selzer asked the senators for their support and endorsement of the new program. The winners of the competition would likely be announced at the K-State versus KU football game in November, Selzer said.
“What we truly need is the student leadership to be on board,” Selzer said. “This is a great way to do some good out of a rivalry.”
The possible program is not expected to be in place until next fall. It allows a great way, however, for alumni, family and students to all be involved for a good cause, Selzer said.