GSB fills several positions

Whitney Sager

Several seats were filled at the Government of the Student Body meeting Wednesday night.

The election of a new GSB finance director generated much debate among the senators.

GSB president Dakota Hoben, senior in agricultural business, nominated Katherine Benton, junior in political science, to fill this position.

“She can most effectively carry out a lot of the things that we want to carry out this next year,” Hoben said.

Many senators voiced opposition to his nomination, arguing that Benton does not have the experience that is needed to hold this position.

Former GSB finance director, Anthony Maly, senior in political science, voiced several reasons for his opposition to the nominee.

Maly said throughout Benton’s service as GSB treasurer during the past year, he felt that she often jumped to conclusions and was biased.

He also said that she often asked questions regarding her role as a GSB treasurer late into her term. With Maly graduating this spring, he said there would not be anyone around to answer questions regarding her role as a finance director.

“There’s a lot of work that the finance director does that the people who are here won’t be able to help her with,” Maly said.

Benton countered that by stating there is nothing wrong with asking questions.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using your resources, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking questions,” Benton said.

Benton went on to admit that while she does have strong opinions about things, as a finance director she must hold those opinions to herself when it comes to the finance committee.

Scott Connell, engineering senator and junior in computer engineering, also voiced concern about Benton’s lack of experience.

“I know that engineers would be very uncomfortable with her having this little experience and I think this would be echoed in all colleges,” Connell said.

Teresa Tompkins, former Campustown senator and senior in political science, said Benton has not finished the projects she has started through GSB. Tompkins cited Benton’s lack of collaboration with groups as a reason for not completing those projects.

Sean Morrissey, off-campus senator and senior in environmental science, argued that Benton was not at fault for the failure of some of the projects that she was involved with.

“Just because the side projects chosen by her did not pan out, we should not be judging her on those,” Morrissey said.

Andrew Gardini, former off-campus senator and senior in mechanical engineering, said Benton is qualified for the finance director position because of her passion for student organizations.

“She shows a compassion for groups while knowing that some cuts to organizations need to be made,” Gardini said.

After two hours of debate, the nomination of Benton for GSB finance director was passed by a vote of 29-6-0.

Nominees for the Executive Cabinet were also voted on during the meeting.

Those nominees include:

  • Director of Student Affairs — Zachary Boss, junior in agricultural business
  • Treasurer— Arjay Vander Velden, sophomore in computer engineering
  • Secretary — Kallie Yearick, freshman in psychology
  • Ex-Officio Ames City Council Liaison — Tor Finseth, senior in aerospace engineering
  • Director of Information Technology — Christopher van Oort, junior in computer engineering
  • Director of New Student Outreach — Xavier Bou, sophomore in marketing
  • Director of Membership Development — Katharine Brown, freshman in history
  • Director of Public Relations — Ashlee Clark, sophomore in pre-journalism and mass communication
  • Director of Sustainability — Alex Toth, sophomore in construction engineering
  • Director of ISU Ambassadors — Ahna Kruzic, junior in sociology
  • Director of Student Diversity — Umair Ilyas, senior in electrical engineering

The executive cabinet was elected by a vote of 34-0-1.

The final two positions left on the executive cabinet, Chief of Staff and Director of Special Projects, will be decided at the following GSB meeting, due to the absence of the nominees.

Senators also nominated and elected a speaker and vice speaker of the senate at the meeting.

Nate Dobbels, agriculture and life sciences senator and senior in agricultural and life sciences education, and Sawyer Baker, liberal arts and sciences senator and sophomore in political science, were nominated for speaker of the senate.

By a vote of 32-2-0, Dobbels was elected to the position.

Baker, Spencer Hughes, liberal arts and sciences senator and open-option freshman, and Rajin Olson, engineering senator and senior in civil engineering, were nominated for vice speaker of the senate.

By a vote of 13-13-6-1, Hughes and Olson tied and a re-vote was cast, dropping Baker from the vote.

During the second vote, a majority vote was not reached with senators casting a 16-14-3 vote. Olson received the most votes.

With a vote of 20-13-1, Hughes was elected as vice speaker of the senate.

A United Resident of Off Campus senator was also nominated and chosen at the meeting.

Joey Norris, junior in aerospace engineering, was elected to fill this vacant seat. Norris said as a GSB senator, he will work to increase off-campus student involvement on campus.

“What I’d really like to do is get to talk to more off-campus students, it seems like of all the student groups, they are the ones who are involved the least on campus,” Norris said.