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Mike Brown elected 2016-17 SA Assembly speaker

Current proxy for Senate to serve as speaker of Assembly

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Mike Brown wishes the Student Association Assembly was more involved this year. His primary goal is to make SA Assembly better by focusing on recruitment and retention.

Brown, a freshman computer science and political science major, has been elected the 2016-17 SA Assembly speaker.

He ran in a contested election against Rachel Malken, a junior chemical engineering major. Fadi Suboh, another candidate, dropped out before Wednesday’s election in 330 Student Union. Roughly nine Assembly members voted in the election.

SA is composed of three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial--and the Assembly falls within the Legislative Branch along with the Senate. The Assembly is responsible for “addressing issues voiced by the students,” according to the SA website.

Brown is the current president of Governors Hall Council and will be an orientation leader this summer where he hopes to recruit new Assembly members by reaching out to clubs and through the Residence Hall Association.

Brown would like to implement group-bonding activities such as volunteering, movie nights and a SA trivia night. He said there is potential for a lot of students to get involved.

But in order to make these activities possible, a budget would be necessary, he said.

Brown has spoken with SA Treasurer Joe Pace about a budget for next year and negotiated a $100 increase in the Assembly budget. Brown said the Assembly now has $350 for next year’s activities.

Brown said he would also like to make a petition website. He said this will be an “awesome way” for the Assembly to understand student needs. When students add a petition to the website, the petition would automatically be added to the Assembly’s meeting agenda, according to Brown.

“Overall, the goal is that we really need to be better student advocates,” Brown said. “ I think especially with the low voter turnout for SA elections and low attendance, we really need to find new ways to get students engaged.”

Another goal of his is to digitize SA by improving the website. He said he wants to reinvigorate Assembly and help SA “move into the next stage.”

Malken said she is thankful that there is “younger blood” to fill the position and she plans to continue her involvement as an Assembly member.

“I’m looking forward to the continued momentum that I’m sure we’ll see,” said Jimmy Corra, current Assembly Speaker.

Brown said he knows a lot about the “issues of SA” after serving as a proxy for the SA Senate. He said he plans to attend all Senate meetings next year to stay in the loop.

“There’s plenty of stuff to complain about at UB, but how much of it actually gets addressed? I want to see Assembly be a place where we can really address those issues and take action,” Brown said. “It’s not enough to just talk about it. It’s not enough to even pass a resolution on it. We need to take further steps and take responsibility for what we say we do.”

Hannah Stein is the co-senior news editor and can be reached at hannah.stein@ubspectrum.com


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