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New USG Senate Speaker elected

By Nick Shigo
On May 1, 2014

Senator Kevin Alvarez, Northwest, was elected and sworn in as the new Undergraduate Student Government Speaker of the Senate. The new USG president, vice president, chief and associate justices, comptroller and senators were also sworn in at the last senate meeting of the year.
Newly elected Chief Justice Katherine Blouin opened the meeting by swearing in Mark Sargent as president, Claire Price as vice president, and Parth Rana as comptroller.
Sargent said he hopes to make USG a larger presence on campus during his administration.
"I want us to be seen as the big kid on the playground," Sargent said, "not in a condescending way, but as someone to look up to and reach out to for help."
Alvarez ran for the position of Speaker against Senator Colin Ng, Deputy Speaker, and Kara Googins, former Vice President.
Duties of the Speaker include being the spokesperson of the senate, moderating senate meetings, voting on legislation in the event of a tie among member votes and serve on the executive committee, according to USG bylaws.
The candidates were given several minutes to present their case for election, where they spoke about their qualifications and plans if elected to the position. Time was also allotted for senators to speak on behalf of the candidates.
Alvarez said in his speech to the senate that he ran for the position because of his experience with the members of USG and knowledge and skills gained through his years as a senator. He has played a role in all senate committees and says his successful past initiatives will help him lead an effective senate.
As speaker, Alvarez seeks to lead an extremely strong senate and legal agenda.
"I want to empower the senate to come up with initiatives they care about," Alvarez said.
Alvarez said that changing attitudes regarding sexual assault and campus culture will be his top priorities during his term.
Senators also voted Senator Eliza Conrad, Buckley Dorms senator, as the new Parliamentarian, the only candidate nominated for the position. Other people sworn in included 30 new and returning senators.
Three more members of the USG Judiciary were sworn in at Wednesday's meeting as well. Alvarez nominated, Steven Klink, Alexandra Rice, Andrew Fowler and were voted in during the first part of the dual senate meetings.
Blouin said that the new justices mark a new start for the judiciary, signaling a more active role in USG.

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