Student Senate elects new cabinet members

Sarah Hillenbrand

After much discussion, voting, and in some cases, a heated debate, the Grand Valley State University Student Senate has elected its new cabinet members for next year’s governing body.

Ricardo Benavidez will serve as president, Stephanie Ewart as executive vice president, Danielle Meirow for the Senate Resources Committee, Samantha Conrad for the Finance Committee, Tim Layer for the Campus Affairs Committee, Scott St. Louis for the Educational Affairs Committee, Anthony Clemons for the Diversity Affairs Committee, Andrew Plague for the Political Affairs Committee, and Emma Moulton for the Public Relations Committee.

After much debate among senators between the two candidates up for election, including mentions of blackmailing and discussion of Benavidez’s more qualified presidential characteristis, Benavidez was voted in during the first round of elections. Benavidez said that as Student Senate president, he wants to work with the individual committees and to both give and take advice.

“The Student Senate president is in charge of conveying the student voice and must set aside personal interests,” he said. “During my time here on the body I have seen three generations of senators, and I can honestly say I am excited to see what the next senate can accomplish. I firmly believe that this senate can be one of the best.”

Ewart ran unopposed for the position of executive vice president. She said in her speech that as the former Finance Committee vice president, she hopes to continue to work with the new vice president and that she wants to reach out to students personally through organizations as a more effective way to make students more aware of Student Senate.

For the Senate Resources Committee, Meirow said that she hopes to bring the senate body together so that the senators get to know one another in a capacity outside of the meetings. She added that she wants to open the seats to university committees to more than just senators by putting some kind of application or nomination on their website and developing an attendance policy to keep those sitting on the committees accountable.

Also running unopposed were Conrad for the Finance Committee, St. Louis for the Educational Affairs Committee, and Clemons for the Diversity Affairs Committee.

Layer was a last minute nomination for the Campus Affairs Committee. He said that he hopes to work with the other committees on senate to address issues such as the lack of sidewalks on Pierce Street and making GVSU feel more like home to students.

“A lot of the different roles I’ve played on the Educational Affairs Committee this year have geared me toward Campus Affairs,” he said. “We’re trying to make a difference and an impact, and Campus Affairs covers a wide variety of areas and has a huge impact.”

For more information about Student Senate or the newly elected cabinet, visit the website at

[email protected]