SU Senate, Treasury votes to table chief of staff nomination until fall session
Student Union Senate and Treasury voted to postpone the confirmation of the executive board’s chief of staff nominee freshman Tony Sims II until the fall, in a joint session Tuesday night.
Sims, a current SU Senator, was chosen after an application process that closed earlier this month.
SU executive board members presented their choice for the nomination with a list of what ideals they hoped Sims would fulfill during his tenure.
SU President sophomore Tyrin Truong, whose primary tasks for Sims include assistance with the Restructuring Task Force and listening to concerns when Truong wouldn’t be able to, said that Sims’ role would allow the executive board to accomplish their goals to the best of their ability.
“We all have extraordinary goals, like restructuring Student Union or making financial policies more equitable,” Truong said. “We see having a chief of staff now as a bridge to lead us into being able to accomplish those goals.”
SU Vice President of Administration sophomore Nia Plump said that the position would help executive members allocate more time to advocating for students.
“There [are] already things happening in the world and on campus that are affecting us, and we need to be very on top of our toes in order to respond to those things and be as proactive as possible and not reactive to those things, for example, Fight for $15 or Title IX legislation,” Plump said.
After each member presented, members of Senate and Treasury were allowed time to ask questions and raise concerns. Among the most common issues raised amongst members of both bodies was whether the legislative body felt there was a need for the position at this point in the executive board’s term, which began in March. The 52nd executive board appointed their chief of staff in the fall.
Senator sophomore Mason Simmons said that appointing a chief of staff could potentially be beneficial in allowing the executive board to be proactive, which was one of the key reasons cited by the board for appointing Sims.
“Being able to have this person available, particularly for the duration of the roughly four months that we’re going to have until the legislative bodies come together again, might be a good opportunity to get started on the meaningful work over the summer,” Simmons said.
After the presentation, both bodies had time to discuss while Sims was out of the room.
Treasurer junior Shelly Gupta said that the lack of clarity regarding the executive board’s goals, which haven’t yet been released, contributed to her hesitance to confirm the nomination.
“I think being proactive is a really honorable goal, and it’s something that as an organization we should do more, but I just think part of our jobs as the legislative body is to hold the exec board accountable to any choices that they make, and that’s the reason why we confirm the chief of staff nomination,” Gupta said. “For me personally, I haven’t seen the goals of the exec board, and some tangible thing to hold accountable to, as they continue on over the next year as exec. I’m uncomfortable adding another person onto a team that I’m not sure what we can hold them accountable to at this point.”
Senator freshman Gaby Smith proposed to table the nomination until the first fall session. Treasury voted in favor of tabling, 18-2. After a discussion within Senate, they followed suit, 7-4.
Activities Committee Chair sophomore Alexa Jochims said she would potentially be willing to vote in favor of a nomination in the future.
“I think Tony has a lot of passion for the organization,” Jochims said. “I think at this point in the semester, I’m a little bit unsure if there’s enough need for a chief of staff at this point. That isn’t necessarily to say that there shouldn’t be a chief of staff ever, that I wouldn’t want to see Tony come back, to see a chief of staff come back in the future.”