Student Senate elects new VP midterm following resignation

 

Student Senate approved senior early childhood education major Katie Bush as the new senate vice president for the spring 2012 semester on Jan. 18. The appointment comes after former Vice President Samson Toe resigned during a senate retreat over winter break.

Toe said that the time constraints were too much for him to handle with his spring semester schedule.

“This semester I am unable to meet the time demands put on me by this position,” he said.

Upon leaving, Toe expressed appreciation to Student Senate.

“One of the things that I’m most proud of is the staff that I’ve hired with Robert [Book],” he said. “The directors that we’ve chosen are wonderful people and I feel extraordinarily fortunate for being able to work under Chris Abrams as well. I’ve learned lessons I will be able to carry with me the rest of my life.”

Senior early childhood education major Katie Bush (right) meets with Senate members informally for an introductory dinner on Monday night. Bush will be sworn in as Vice President of Student Senate on Wednesday. (Photo by Chelsea Weikart)

The announcement on Jan. 17 came after a weeklong process of interviews following a campus-wide e-mail advertising the need for a new vice president.

A steering committee of six members of senate and two faculty, Director of Student Development Chris Abrams and Department Assistant of Student Development Sandy Johnson, conducted the interviews.

There were eight applicants and two were finalists in the search. This contrasts the last election for Student Senate where President Bob Book and Samson Toe were the only candidates.

“I hope the response begins to show a trend for the future, of an interest in getting involved in student government,” Abrams said.

Book said that the number of applicants will hopefully carry over into elections at the end of February.

“One of the things that really floored us in her interview is that she was really honest about not knowing,” Book said.

Although inexperienced in Student Senate, Bush had qualities that Senate was looking for.

“Her leadership qualities are just through the roof and her ability to juggle all of those responsibilities at once really impressed us,” he said.

Bush transferred to Malone as a sophomore. Because of post-secondary credits, she is finishing her bachelor’s after three years and is starting master’s courses. Bush served as a resident assistant and a cheerleader during basketball season as well as Maxamoose in basketball season.

Bush is currently student teaching at Barr Elementary in Plain Local School District.

“I never saw myself in a role like this, so I want to do my best, just as in anything I do,” she said.

After her involvements with cheerleading tapered off, Bush said she wanted to get involved in some other capacity.

“I’ve really wanted to work on listening to others and caring about what they have to say,” she said. “When I looked up what Senate does it said that they are ‘a voice to the student body,’ and it hit me, to be the voice of the student body you have to be a better listener than you are a speaker.”

“Everything really fell in place, it was exactly what I had been praying for,” she said.

Bush will be sworn in at the next senate meeting on Jan. 25.

“Hopefully the response is because people have seen what Senate has been doing so far,” Book said.

Book said that this interest to run for a candidate in Student Senate will hopefully carry over into elections next month. He announced at the Senate meeting on Jan. 18 that he and Brandi Bonfert will be running for president and vice president in the elections for next year.

Chelsea Weikart is managing/news editor for The Aviso AVW.

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