SGA elects next year’s speaker of the senate

Sarah Stukenborg

The Student Government Association elected a new Speaker of the Student Senate at its meeting last Tuesday.

Floyds Knobs, Ind. freshman Paige Settles will begin her term as the new speaker at the start of the fall 2013 semester and serve for a year.

“I’m feeling very excited; I think we have a great group of new senators,” Settles said. “The new administration is well prepared to deal with our upcoming challenges.”

The speaker of the student senate creates the SGA meeting agendas, manages the meetings and facilitates the parliamentary procedures. The speaker also meets with the committee heads and serves as an executive officer.

Settles said she is qualified to take on these responsibilities because she has spoken to the previous speaker and has a good idea of the work she has to come. She plans on creating a good dynamic in the senate so the meetings will flow smoothly.

“I really want to foster people working together in the senate,” Settles said.

Settles said she believes her greatest challenge in the upcoming year will be balancing her responsibilities.

“I think just learning the new responsibilities and balancing the responsibilities of the speaker with what the senate needs,” Settles said.

Christopher Costa, current SGA speaker of the student senate, said that Settles has his full confidence that she will do a good job as the new speaker.

“She’s got a lot of talents that will be very useful for the position,” Costa said.

Costa said he chose not to run for re-election because he wants to be able to focus more on school and classes during his upcoming senior year.

“It’s a lot of responsibility, and it keeps you really busy,” Costa said.

He said his greatest struggle throughout the past year as speaker was remaining impartial.

“The position can be one of a lot of influence and it is easy to sway opinions or vote, but that is not the role of speaker,” Costa said.

Neutrality is one of the main roles the speaker of SGA takes on, and Costa said that he tried hard to reflect impartiality at all times throughout his term.

“It is very difficult though, especially when there were issues present which I had a strong position or opinion on,” Costa said.

Costa will resume a seat in the senate after the spring semester ends.

Keyana Boka, SGA’s president-elect for next year, said she is in full support of Settles being elected as the next speaker.

“I look forward to working with her,” she said.