Tuesday, Jennifer Brace won another feather for her cap.
During the first joint meeting of the Student Association Assembly and Senate and the Student-Wide Judiciary, Brace defeated newly-elected senator Michael Goggin in the run for senate chair.
She is also one of UB's three New York State Student Assembly delegates, and the NYSSA university center representative.
The senate chair is responsible for deciding where, when and how often the senate meets; coordinates senate committees; and is a part of the Emergency Powers Council, which enacts urgent legislation if the senate and assembly cannot meet.
Brace, a junior business management major, does not foresee difficulty juggling the responsibilities of senate chair along with her positions as a NYSSA delegate and NYSSA university center representative, in addition to a full course load.
"I will follow through and I have ample time," said Brace. "I will be more than willing to work with everyone's schedule and I have everything with NYSSA under control as far as the macro level issues at UB are concerned."
After claiming victory, she appointed Goggin senate secretary and Gregory Hayes as senate parliamentarian.
Brace, who previously represented commuters, said she is interested in "addressing the more micro issues in SA and becoming more involved with the clubs and the budget."
Ultimately, the issue of impartiality proved to be the deciding factor in the election. Unlike Goggin, a member of the men's rugby team and the Political Science Undergraduate Student Association, Brace is not a member of any specific SA-sponsored club or team.
According to Brace, it is imperative the chair is not an SA club member because she will break ties during senate voting procedures, including those concerned with club budgets. This, she said, was one of the primary reasons she was a more qualified candidate than Gogglin.
"I am able to be a completely autonomous candidate because of the fact that NYSSA is a separate organization from SA ... I am able to be a non-biased voice for the clubs," said Brace.
Goggin disagreed, saying his experience as a club member renders him better able to serve the needs of SA clubs and organizations.
"Coming from a club background, I understand all the issues that the clubs are coming from," said Goggin.
Although Brace admitted a lack of knowledge of that area, she maintained she would be more than willing to educate herself on the everyday workings of the various SA clubs and organizations.
"It's true that I'm not coming from a club," she said. "But I'm definitely willing to learn any technicalities that clubs are coming from."
Brace also highlighted her connection with SA's executive board, with whom she ran under "The Results" party ticket for NYSSA delegate.
She said these ties are significant for the senate chair because the legislative body would have an already solid relationship with the executive board and would be better equipped to pursue its interests.
"I'm not technically an e-board member, but I am able to work with the e-board," she said. "I think that's a big advantage for me as far as being a fair representative for the senate."
In addition, she promised frequent and efficiently-conducted senate meetings, close contact with the assembly, speedy action on resolutions and getting the senate's voice out to UB's administration.
"I have experience, I know how to run a meeting," said Brace.
"And," she added with a chuckle, "I'll keep Chris [Oliver] in check."
At the meeting's conclusion, Brace explained why she appointed Hayes to the position of parliamentarian as well as her opponent to the position of secretary, describing Hayes as "enthusiastic" and "dedicated" and noting his prior knowledge of parliamentary procedure. As for Goggin, she said he was a "very viable candidate for chair."
"He's very enthusiastic about getting involved within SA and within the senate," Brace said. "We've had numerous conversations before and I think we would work well together."