Illinois Student Senate meets for the final time of the fall semester

By Samantha Jones Toal

Staff writer

Senators Say Goodbye

On their final day as the Illinois Student Senate vice presidents, Matt Hill and Sarah Hochman, along with former Chief of Staff Samantha Awad said goodbye to the student senate at its final meeting of the semester.

Hill and Hochman are leaving due to “unforeseen opportunities and circumstances” and Awad is studying abroad next semester.

    Sign up for our newsletter!

    In turn, senators welcomed the new vice presidents, external and internal, Laura Saldivar, senior in LAS and Jill Whitman, sophomore in LAS and Chief of Staff Andrianna Kurzenberger, sophomore in LAS.

    “I think Andrianna (Kurzenberger) is going to fill Sam’s (Awad) shoes wonderfully,” Hochman said. “She’s a team player.”

    Gabby Gendek, freshman in DGS, will take over for Kurzenberger as Deputy Chief of Staff.

    At the end of the meeting, Hochman, Hill and Student Body President Mitch Dickey each gave a speech to the senators, ending in tears.

    “If I wasn’t in student senate, I think I would wear a lot wear a lot less orange and blue and I think I would have a lot less friends, because all my friends are in the student senate,” Hochman said.

    “This is a family,” Hill said. “And there’s no family I think I’d rather fight with more than everybody in this room.”

    He said he will cherish his time at the university, especially in the student senate.

    Dickey said he was happy to work with Saldivar and Whitman but that it was tough to lose Hill and Hochman.

    “I couldn’t be more blessed to have these two as my partners,” Dickey said.

    Golf Cart Resolution

    Hochman and Hill presented a Golf Cart rental resolution that proposed the use of a golf cart on campus as a public relations tool for the student senate.

    Hill said the golf cart could be used in collaboration with social media campaigns and will help connect student senate to the students.

    Essentially, a student could tweet something with a hashtag connected to a certain campaign and the student would receive a free ride. Student senators would also ride in the cart, informing students of campaigns, petitions and other student senate happenings.

    Rhonda Kirts, Illinois Student Senate staff sponsor, said it would cost about $2,000 dollars to rent three golf carts for ten days.

    “The logistics are going to have to be decided at a later point,” Hill said.

    A senator questioned the liability and safety of the idea. In response Hill said he was sure safety matters would be discussed and put in place.

    “This is a purely fun, lighthearted way to get students involved in issues,” Hochman said, adding the cart could be decorated to represent the student senate.