The Senate of College Councils gained a new executive leader Thursday night after electing its former communications director as president.
President-elect Michael Morton, a journalism senior, said he would focus his efforts on bridging the gap between the organization’s internal and external affairs, and he wants to improve the culture of Senate by changing the ideology of the organization.
“We can’t keep thinking that students will come to us,” Morton said, “We must have a presence at student organization meetings in order to truly represent the students’ voices.”
Senate also elected a new vice-president and financial director at the Senate’s general assembly meeting. Unlike Student Government, which hosts campus-wide elections, Senate elects its leaders internally. The organization focuses its legislative and executive efforts on improving academic life for students.
Senate executive elections were governed by the organization’s first election code, which was passed by Senate on Jan. 26. The election code consists of election committee guidelines and a candidate’s rights and duties. Executive position nominations were announced at the Feb. 9 general meeting, after which candidates met with college council leaders and spoke at council meetings.
Morton said he wants Senate to be far more accessible and, with every decision, wants to question whether or not it is helping students.
“What I hope at the end of my term is that we’ll be able to look back and say ‘this is how we helped students’ and more importantly, that we were able to build a trust and relationship that will last far longer than my term,” Morton said.
Vice president-elect, Andrew Clark, an international relations junior, said he plans to expand the at-large application process by opening it up to current students to provide a more diverse and representative sampling of the student population.
“I also plan on speaking with college councils and establishing those relationships and being the greatest resource I can to them,” Clark said.
Clark won by default as opponent Hannah Tucker, a government sophomore, withdrew from the election at the meeting.
Kendra Loftice, English senior and former Senate administrative director, was elected for financial director and said she plans on engaging with each college council’s financial directors more and being accessible to them.
“I want to bring together the gap between the college councils and the internal Senate by really merging that relationship and providing them with anything that they need,” Loftice said.
Printed on Friday, February 24, 2012 as: UT Senate elects president, aims to unite councils