Taylor, Miller assume presidency

Applause, speeches and hugs complemented the final farewells and fresh welcomes of old and new Senate members last Tuesday in the Marsh Leadership Lounge.The 2007-2008 Student Government Association (SGA) held their final Senatorial meeting of the 2007-2008 school year, while the 2008-2009 held their first immediately following.The night was dedicated to the inauguration of James “Jay” Taylor as president and Josh Miller as vice president.Newly-elected senators, Miller’s Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity brothers and the director of student life, Pat Brown made up the majority of the audience.Before the inauguration ceremony began, however, the meeting ran through business as usual.The executive board gave their final reports and Speaker Michael Glynne passed around the final draft of the SGA Constitution to be signed by each member of Senate to make it official.Then, Vice President DaVaughn Vincent-Bryan started a new tradition of distributing blue and gold cords to senior senators who had served two or more years on SGA to wear at graduation.President Kesha Ram then stood and said to Vincent-Bryan that “the definition you [Vincent-Bryan] have brought to the role of vice president is absolutely astounding.”With that, the entire Senate gave him a standing ovation.Ram then gave her last remarks. “It has not been easy to devote my entire being to the government of the student body,” she said, “but we as Student Government have made great strides and I hope future leaders will follow this path.”Ram also said that she would not miss students coming up to her at parties asking for more club funding or her office in the Davis Center, but rather, her passionate, personal link to students.The chairs of each committee were then given the opportunity to give their final reports.Scott McCarty, chair of the Committee on Legislative Action (COLA), said that working with Senate was the best job he had ever had. “I’ve gotten to work with some great people,” he said, “these people have really inspired me and there is no body I would rather be a part of.”Jesse Bragg, chair of the Committee on Diversity, Equity and Environmental Ethics (CODEEE) also said that the executive board was the best he had seen.Before the end of the first half of the meeting, Vincent-Bryan stood to say that he saw a family in members of Senate, no matter how complicated things had gotten throughout the term.Miller and Taylor were then both sworn into office by Vincent-Bryan and Ram, respectively.Glynne next asked all senators to stand and for those who were leaving SGA to step back as the newly-elected stepped forward to claim seats around the table. After each senator repeat?ed their oaths, the first meeting of the 2008-2009 SGA officially began. The next procedure was the election of a new Treasurer; senior Ben Porter, who has already served four terms on SGA, was the only nominee.When Senator Julia Michel asked Porter what challenges he would expect to overcome he said that he could not think of any. “I have complete confidence in my competence,” he said, “I can handle the load and I know I have the time and experience.”After being officially sworn into the treasurer position by former treasurer Shackett, Porter said it felt “fantastic.”Then, Miller gave his first executive report of the new term and told the new Senate that they had a lot to live up to and that it was time to elevate SGA to a new level.Taylor said that he was really excited about his new “team” and that he looked forward to all agreements and disagreements of the future.The 2008-2009 Senate will hold one last meeting on April 22, during which a new speaker of the house will be elected; the current nominees are current Speaker Glynne, Mandy Frank and Ryan Krodel.