After approving cabinet members for the 2018-2019 student senate term, the Student Governing Association debated the approval of the chief of staff for more than 30 minutes before approving Miranda Moore, former academic affairs director and junior in communication studies.
Jordan Kiehl, student body president and junior in industrial engineering, addressed the student senate again during debate for the pending approval of Moore. Kiehl reinforced her support of Moore, citing her previous experience in the executive branch
Hayley Spellman, student senator and junior in political science, was the first to present a negative opinion for the approval of Moore’s appointment. Spellman expressed concern about whether or not Moore would be able to “seize the opportunity” present in the new term of senators to promote diversity and inclusion, among other things.
Although she said she didn’t doubt Moore’s ability to serve as chief of staff, Spellman said she thought there might be others more qualified for the job that had yet to be reached by the limited communication between SGA and the student body.
“She is a good choice for the job, but I don’t think she’s the best choice for the job,” Spellman said.
Another concern expressed in Spellman’s debate was the close-knit relationship between Kiehl, Moore and Lacey Pitts, student body vice president and junior in agricultural economics, referencing a history of “friends’ club” mindsets from previous terms.
Katie Sullivan, student senator and junior in social work, said she believes it is in the best interest of the student body to approve Moore, but not necessarily because she possesses the ability to push the student body president beyond their own ideas. Sullivan argued that by holding up the selection of chief of staff, SGA would be doing a disservice to the student body because that would ultimately halt necessary processes and prevent the eventual appointee from easing into the job.
“I believe it is SGA’s responsibility to have a united front between all three branches; this begins with accountability of each and every member,” Sullivan said. “We should have the opportunity to voice our opinion and not feel forced into an appointment for fear of progress coming to a halt over the summer at the detriment of our constituents.”
Samantha Thomas, student senator and graduate student in counseling and student development, voiced similar concerns to Sullivan’s. Thomas, who said she was previously against Moore’s appointment, decided to put her name on the resolution in favor of her approval.
“We are trying to build and move forward, and we can only do that with the tools in our belt,” Thomas said. “At the end of the day, chief of staff is a monster of a job and there are not that many students who are willing to do it.”
Ultimately, Moore was sworn in as chief of staff with 42 votes in favor and two against.
Additionally, Jordan Martin, senior in computer science and mathematics, was approved unanimously as the SGA treasurer.