At Thursday night’s ASUCD Senate meeting six senators ended their terms and six new senators were sworn in.
The farewell speeches of the former senators, Anni Kimball, Justin Goss, Jared Crisologo-Smith, Patrick Sheehan, Erica Padgett and Carly Sandstrom, were followed by the swearing-in of newly elected senators Alyson Sagala, Armando Figueroa, Felicia Ong, Tal Topf, Liam Burke and Maxwell Kappes.
The seating of the new senators depended on the Elections Committee’s assessment of the complaints filed against the NOW and SMART slates shortly after the elections. Ultimately, all of the senators-elect were seated.
Sagala, the only candidate denied a seat initially, said she was concerned that the meeting would not even be able to take place if the table did not meet quorum.
“There was this huge chance that no one was going to get seated because we had filed a complaint against the Elections Committee following my subsequent disqualification; no one was going to get sworn in, we weren’t going to meet quorum, we weren’t even going to have this meeting,” Sagala said. “So none of us knew this entire day … what six o’clock was going to be like.”
After calling the meeting to order, Vice President Yena Bae read a message from the Election Committee that clarified the situation and allowed for all the newly elected members to be seated.
“I think justice was served appropriately,” Sagala said.
The decision could potentially have affected all of the members, including newly elected senator Liam Burke, who ran as an independent.
“I was totally uninvolved in all the complaint allegations and violation points,” Burke said. “I was just trapped by all of that and I was hoping that it wouldn’t cause me to not get sworn in as well, but I’m glad that was all thrown out and I’m glad we can get to work.”
Following the announcement, the meeting proceeded with outgoing senators presenting their farewell speeches in which they thanked family members, friends and supporters and gave advice to the incoming members of the table.
Former senators Goss and Sheehan also entertained those attending the meeting by performing a rap to commemorate their time at the table.
“I’m extremely happy with my time spent as a senator,” Goss said. “It was a true honor serving the student body. I wasn’t always in a good mood, and I wasn’t always well-liked, but I felt like every day I was doing something that mattered and helped to make this university better. I thought I was good at the job, and I’ll miss it dearly.”
Goss does not plan on continuing to work in the Association.
“Though I will deeply miss it and the friends I made there, the friends will stay with me and it’s time to let a new generation make some mistakes and do some work,” he said. “If they want my advice or help I’ll gladly offer, but for now I’m comfortable to sit back and observe.”
Former senator Kimball was also happy with her time spent at the table and, following the swearing-in of the new members, was confirmed as the new unit director of Cal Aggie Camp.
“I’m very happy with my work as a senator,” she said. “I worked hard, did my best to represent the student body and I learned a lot.”
According to Figueroa, the farewells can never truly give insight into how the term will be for the new senators.
“I’ve heard that a million times; no one is ever able to articulate how the experience is going to be,” he said. “I just hope that I continue to be myself and hope that it will reflect in the Senate table that I’m a positive person.”
Former senator Padgett said that her experience of terming out was strange, but that she is grateful to have more time to herself now.
“I’m excited to finally be able to go home on a Thursday night,” she said.
“Other than that, it’s still surreal. After having sat at that table for [a] year, it’s kind of hard to imagine not sitting at it. I think I’m still in shock.”
JOANNA JAROSZEWSKA can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.