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Monday, January 30, 2023


Special session allows confirmation of speaker, new senators

Edgar Contreras at SGA special session meeting.

Edgar Contreras was appointed to the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics senate seat. | Michael Slaten/The Cougar

Two new senators, the speaker of the Senate and a deputy attorney general, were appointed at the Wednesday special session meeting of the Student Government Association called by President Winni Zhang.

Chemical engineering junior Kanian Khan was appointed to the College of Engineering Senate seat, which was lacking in the administration, senators said on Wednesday and at previous meetings.

Khan said his main goal, with eight weeks left in the administration, is to formally ask Dean of College of Engineering Joseph Tedesco to start a mentorship program that would allow upperclassmen engineering students to mentor freshmen and sophomores.

“So there is established communication between upperclassmen and lowerclassmen,” Khan said. “That way they have context and don’t make mistakes people have already gone through.”

Two other seats remain vacant for the College of Engineering.

“We don’t have representation (from the College of Engineering), and I think he’s the right guy for the job,” said Hotel and Restaurant Management Sen. Thomas McCulloch before Khan’s appointment passed.

Geophysics senior Edgar Contreras was appointed to the vacant College of Natural Science and Mathematics Senate seat after former Sen. Adelle Flores resigned earlier in the administration.

Contreras said he was appointed late into the 53rd Administration, but he was able to create NSM Pizza Talks with another senator and would be able to accomplish tasks late into a different administration. 

Contreras only specified helping undergraduates become more aware of graduate school.

“Freshman and sophomores see it as a debt collector,” Contreras said. “I think it’s important for people to know grad school can supplement their careers.”

Political science sophomore Ariz Karim will be the new deputy attorney general. Senators did not ask any questions during her appointment. She invoked her experience debating in moot court for several years as qualification for the position.

NSM Sen. Chelsea Cheung was voted by the Senate to become the new speaker. She defeated acting NSM Speaker Carlos Iniguez.

College of Education Sen. Zeel Vora advocated on Sen. Cheung’s behalf.

“I was going through a rough time. She hijacked student life (committee), and she did a better job than me,” Sen. Vora said. “I have nothing but faith in her as speaker.”

Sen. Cheung said she hopes to help senators finish their projects for the 54th Administration and foster more collaboration between colleges.

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