GSB elects new speaker, vice speaker of Senate


Sam Greene/Iowa State Daily

Speaker candidate Ben Crawford addressed the gathered senators explaining his qualifications for the position of speaker. Ultimately, he won the election and will serve for the next year as Speaker for the Student Government.

Michaela Ramm

The Government of the Student Body senators have elected Ben Crawford as speaker and Michael Snook as vice speaker of the Senate.

Crawford was appointed as speaker with a vote of 24-7.

In the first Senate meeting of the fiscal year, five senators were nominated for the position of speaker: Ian Marlenee, Kathryn Leidahl, Danielle Nygard, Ben Crawford and Ryan Starn.

Crawford said the the speaker is to be the face and voice of the entire student Senate.

“[The senators] are all committed and responsible individuals,” Crawford said. “The speaker is to help make you efficient. I won’t be the speaker, I will be your speaker.”

Former Sen. Erick Dietz said this was the most important vote the Senate will have for the next couple months.

“This is going to set the tone for the rest of the time on GSB,” Dietz said. “The speaker is the leader of the Senate. They need to be active and they need to be vocal. It’s critical to have the drive and dedication to get Senate to the best it can be.”

As the next speaker, Crawford will be offered a scholarship due to a recent passing of a compensation bill.

Crawford said the compensation has nothing to do with what makes a good leader.

Sen. Abbie Lang said the senators should not vote based on whether the candidate wants compensation. Sen. Michael Snook agreed that compensation was irrelevant.

“I’m not here to be popular, I’m here to benefit the students,” Snook said. “Crawford is smart and clear-headed, and I believe he is clear and systematic in his approach.”

Sen. Brittany Gaura threw her support behind Crawford and said she believes the other candidates were not qualified.

“Crawford won’t micromanage us,” Gaura said. “He knows the rules better than anyone I know. If he doesn’t know it, he’ll go look it up.”

Nygard was runner up, receiving seven of the final votes.

Sen. Cole Button argued the speaker’s duty is to chair Rules Committee and Nygard has had experience in that area.

Gaura argued against voting for Nygard, saying she was too soft-spoken.

Some senators were concerned with the fact that Marlenee would graduate a semester early, and therefore, he would be unable to complete their term in office.

Some senators supported Leidahl, but others argued she was not active enough in Senate meetings.

Sen. Robert Dunn argued that Leidahl is listening and gathering information and is also a very direct and a very firm communicator.

Senators elected Michael Snook as vice speaker of the Senate.

Snook was elected after a vote of 20-14. 

The nominations for vice speaker were David Moore, Nygard, Snook and Cole Staudt.

Several senators were concerned that it was Staudt’s first year in the Senate.

Sen. Charles Faunce said he believes it would be difficult for Staudt to be vice speaker in his first year.

Guenther pointed out that this was the second highest ranking position in the Senate.

“If something were to happen to Speaker Crawford, the vice speaker would have to take over,” Guenther said. “Staudt is by no means qualified.”

Some senators also supported Snook’s appointment. Former Sen. Richard Hartnett urged the Senate to select Snook.

“I worried that we’re saying we should elect someone who’s eager,” Hartnett said. “We need to elect someone who has a strong knowledge of the rules. The vice speaker is important in ensuring the Senate runs smoothly. I think Snook is definitely going to be your best choice.”

Snook was elected as vice speaker after receiving the majority vote of 20-14.