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ISSUE 119 VOL 18 PUBLISHED 4/28/2006

Senate Vice President steps down

By Lisa Gulya
Arts Editor

Friday, April 28, 2006

Student Senate President-Elect Vanessa Witt ‘07 announced this week that her running mate Evan Klefsaas ’08 has stepped down. Witt chose Matt Stortz ’07 to take Klefsaas’ place.

Klefsaas cited medical reasons for his decision, problems which he was not aware of until after the election. He hopes to continue Senate involvement next year with a "less intense position" as a senator, possibly on the athletic board or Board of Regents Student Committee (BORSC). However, Klefsaas said, his health comes first.

"At this point, I’ve got to take it one day at a time," he said.

Klefsaas and Witt discussed the decision with Dean of Students Greg Kneser, Director of Student Activities Kris Vatter, Senate President Thomas Rusert ’06 and Senate Vice President Rachel Erickson ‘06 last week.

"None of us could remember anything like this happening," Witt said.

After examining the bylaws for procedure, the group decided that Rusert and Witt should present a joint proposal for a new nominee to the Senate.

Witt interviewed five candidates, seeking someone she knew with a working knowledge of Senate and the motivation to commit the time required by the position. Stortz was selected for his "extensive knowledge of Senate and the Student Government Association," Witt said.

Stortz’s Senate experience includes a position as Senate public relations executive during the 2004-2005 academic year. Stortz stepped down from Senate activity this year to focus on his duties as a residential assistant and president of the Blue Key Honor Society, which needed “serious building,” Stortz said.

Stortz is eager to return to student government. "He’s really passionate about this right now," Witt said.

Stortz was enthusiastic about joining Witt. “She’s got a great vision,” he said.

Witt plans to bring the nomination before Senate on Thursday. Witt contacted senators to encourage them to table the nomination initially, giving senators and Stortz time to talk to students.

"I want Senate to make a thoughtful decision," Witt said. When senators meet next week, a majority vote would confirm Stortz, who would then join others transitioning into office.

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