At-Large ASUCI Senator Lydia Natoolo, a fourth-year biological sciences major, was elected President of the Senate for winter quarter 2017 at an ASUCI meeting last Thursday, Nov. 17. She will replace the current President of the Senate, Engineering Senator Tin Hong, whose term in the Senate will end after this quarter.
Natoolo ran against Social Sciences Senator Grecia Orozco, a fourth-year anthropology major. Both expressed similar commitments to serving vulnerable students, as well as working for the general good of all students.
In her speech before the Senate, Senator Orozco outlined her aim to help marginalized campus communities.
“My main goal as a leader on campus would be obviously to protect those with the least protections,” said Orozco. “That’s where my allegiance will lie: with those who have more vulnerability especially with the changing climate since the elections.”
Similarly, Natoolo said, “As a President, I’m willing to reach out to make sure that every student, no matter where they come from, no matter their ethnicity, no matter their color, is heard. I will work hard to do that, but I cannot do that without [the Senate].”
Further, Natoolo expressed her desire for greater representation of student views in Senate, and her willingness to seek out student perspectives.
“I’m willing to work with each and every [person] in the Senate to be the voice of the university, to seek out what is happening, and what is not being done right because I believe we all take positions — everyone wants to serve — but it takes a lot for someone to get out there, knock on doors and find out what is not being done and what our fellow students need,” Natoolo said.
After a closed Senate election, Natoolo was chosen as President. She expressed gratitude to her fellow Senators after the election.
“Thank you, UCI Senate, for electing me as your next President. What an honor and privilege it is to be alive today. To be entrusted with service, to be the voice of those who cannot speak for themselves,” said Natoolo. “Thank you for choosing me and believing in me. I know together we are going to do great things.”
As Senate President this upcoming winter quarter, Senator Natoolo will preside over the special elections called by the Senate last Tuesday, Nov. 15. The Senate passed a resolution, R52-25, calling for a special election to fill vacant senate seats, given that only 19 out of 30 Senate seats are currently filled and several more Senators are set to end their term at the end of this quarter. The resolution also called upon Elections Commission to create a timeline for the elections, and stated that the “First Year special interest seat [must] be filled by appointment as no candidate can currently fulfill the GPA requirement.”
After R52-25 passed 10-0-0, Elections Commission created a timeline for the special election, which will go to ASUCI Senate for a vote as resolution R52-28 on Tuesday, Nov. 22.
If R52-28 passes, then the special elections will carry out as follows: fall quarter, Wednesday of week nine: Elections Packet will be posted. Fall quarter, Friday of finals week at 5 p.m.: deadline to declare candidacy. Winter quarter, Tuesday of week one at 7 p.m.: mandatory candidates meeting. Winter quarter, week two: elections week. Winter quarter, week three: results of the election will be posted.