By Paul A. Anthony, Editor in Chief
By a near-unanimous vote, Student Congress approved 10 nominations to its ranks Wednesday, filling out a governing body one-fourth of which is unelected by the students.
Congress also approved its executive secretary, the final two members of the Executive Cabinet and a parliamentarian.
“It’s a great completion to Congress,” said Jonathan Wilkerson, Students’ Association executive president. “Congress at this point is acting as a team, Cabinet and Congress alike.”
Wilkerson said the number of appointments necessary to fill Congress after fall elections is about the same as in years past. He said the number of younger members is higher, while fewer upperclassmen have chosen to be in Congress this year.
A year of strife could have kept some active members away, Wilkerson said.
“Some regard the past year as having bad feelings between the executive officers and Congress,” Wilkerson said. “Hopefully, with the change in feelings, there’ll be tons of people in the next couple of years saying, ‘I want to do that.'”
The 10 newest members of Congress are mostly just that-brand new. Reps. Taylor Hemness and Casey Kelley, Don H. Morris Center, are the only ones with congressional experience.
Among the approvals were four senior class senators, five academic representatives and an Edwards Hall representative.
Suzie MacKenzie was officially named executive secretary, while Jessica Oakley was approved as the first-ever chief development officer, and Jennifer Yee also became the first chief communications officer. Both positions were created when the Constitution was amended last year.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Grimes is the first parliamentarian since Allison Burns filled the role in 2001-02.
About 10 more positions remain open, Wilkerson said, and he expects to bring a handful of nominations before Congress again Wednesday. A review of the SA bill structure and the unveiling of the year’s budget also are expected Wednesday, Wilkerson said.
All undergraduates are members of the Students’ Association and are invited to meetings of its Congress. Meetings are conducted in Room 114 of the Biblical Studies Building every Wednesday at 5 p.m.