Student Senate elected junior Cayne Randle last Thursday to be the treasurer during their first meeting under new president senior Sam Cohen.
Senate had to suspend bylaws section 1 letter F which states: “If any position of the Senate will be vacant for over one term, the Executive Board will organize a special election to fill the position within two weeks of being notified of the opening.”
The treasurer position was left open after Cohen was elected in a special election earlier this term.
Before voting to suspend the bylaws, some senators questioned having repeated special elections, but were also worried by the precedent that suspending bylaws could create. There were also worries about contradictory bylaws and constitution clauses which made the validity and necessity of the election unclear.
However, Cohen noted that the move had been done before during the presidency of Sofia Tagkaloglou ‘18 to fill the Health and Wellness Chair last year. Senate will be looking at the constitution and bylaws at the end of the year to clear up confusion, which they do every year.
In an interview with TKS, Cohen explained that to fill the Health and Wellness Chair, Tagkaloglou had appointed two candidates and then had Senate choose between them. The situation highlighted some of the problems with the constitution that Cohen wanted to make sure were clearly addressed this time.
“I wanted to suspend the bylaw specifically because I didn’t want to just be ‘Hey, we’re gonna put this person in charge,’” Cohen said. “If we’re going to confront the fact that the constitution didn’t really work, we were at least going to address it and fix it to actually use the constitution the way people want to.”
Senate suspended the bylaw for one hour in order to vote on the position themselves. Randle, junior Eliza Dehlin and senior Flora Florova were the only people qualified to run for treasurer, as the position requires candidates to have spent a year on the Senate finance committee. Dehlin declined to run, so Senate voted between Florova and Randle by secret ballot.
“I loved being campus life chair but my heart was definitely with being treasurer,” Randle said. “I put a lot of work in last year to straighten up the finances and the whole protocol and systems.”
Randle said she was uncertain about running, but did since it was unclear if any of the few other people eligible to run were going to.
The election leaves her prior position as chairperson of the Campus Life Committee open. Senate decided to have those who want to be nominated approach the Executive Committee and then suspend the bylaw again at their next meeting to elect a chairperson.
Along with the election, Senate also approved requests for $418.88 to clubs for events. Film Club requested $150 to cover snacks for three movie screenings. They had planned to request funds the week before but Senate did not meet because too many Senators were unavailable.
Nature Club requested $48.88 for a potpourri workshop. Chinese Club requested $220 for their hot pot event.
Randle, speaking for the Campus Life committee, reminded the senators that they are currently accepting Theme House applications. After no one came to their first open house with questions on the process, they decided to hold a second session on Jan. 29, but it was canceled.
The theme housing process has changed this year, with Post suites and the six-occupant house no longer being included as potential locations. This leaves two houses and three townhouses.
The next Student Senate meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Feb. 7 in the Alumni Room in Old Main.
An earlier version of this article was posted on Jan. 24.