Dillon Smith elected UB Student Association senate chair again

Senate holds re-election after previous election deemed invalid


Two weeks ago after holding its first meeting and a chairperson election with some “unnecessary hoopla,” the Student Association senate has a chair – officially – and finally granted clubs more money.

The senate elected Dillon Smith senate chair Monday night. Smith was originally elected chair two weeks ago, but SA’s attorney ruled it invalid after SA President Minahil Khan casted the deciding vote to break a tie between Smith and former senator Yaser Soliman. SA Treasurer Joe Pace called the situation “unnecessary hoopla” at a special senate forum last week.

As senate chair, Smith said he wants to “fulfill opportunities to the clubs.”

“My plan moving forward from now is to try to put aside any personal issues of the past and just get down to the orderly and actually have a club come in here, have them propose, have them be able to get the money that they need to hold events,” Smith said.

Smith looks to enact a “straight forward rules of the game” and mend uncommon ground between senators by being an “unbiased individual.”

“We had to make up for a lot this week, but I’m very proud of how the senators conducted themselves,” Smith said after the meeting. “The best way we can move forward is focusing on what we’re meant to be doing.”

He also said he plans to reach out to the SA Student Assembly in order to have the two branches of government working together for “longevity” purposes. Smith said he looks to appoint a parliamentarian and a secretary as well as form AD HOC committees.

Fourteen senators voted for Smith, while one voted no confidence and one abstained. Senator Carl Ross, who ran against Smith, did not receive a vote.

“I’m really glad to see that Carl and myself ran [because] having an option helps validate the democratic process,” Smith said.

Anthony Field, the elections and credentials chair who was not present at the original election, governed the proceedings and SA Attorney Josh Korman was present to answer the senators’ questions concerning SA’s constitution and bylaws.

Soliman, who lost the first election, told The Spectrum this weekend that he would officially resign as a senator Monday and called for more university oversight of SA.

Following the election, four SA clubs, including the Student Association of Speech Hearing (SASH), the Fashion Student Association (FSA), Swing Dance and Jewish Student Union came before the senators to petition for additional funding for upcoming events.

Each club prepared a presentation for the senators and stepped out as the senators debated among themselves until finally reaching a consensus.

The senate granted $800 to SASH for an upcoming trip to a convention and $910 to temporary club FSA for its upcoming fashion show. Swing Dance was granted $400 for its upcoming dance event and the Jewish Student Union was granted $600 for its inter-faith Thanksgiving event.

The clubs’ presentations and the senators’ debates took up roughly three hours of the meeting.

Khan said the meeting was “a great example of productivity.”

“The body listened to, debated, and voted on four different club grants as well as other presentations,” Khan said. “I am extremely proud of all the senators for staying the whole four hours of the meeting. I think we can expect the same level of commitment and productivity moving forward from the SA Senate.”

Khan said “anything that has happened this year hasn’t impaired any functioning of the overall SA” and that all procedure was properly followed during the election.

“We are continuing to move forward on everything we have planned for the remainder of the year,” Khan said.

The next senate meeting will be either by this Sunday or the following Sunday, Nov. 8. The meeting will be held at 5 p.m.

Ashley Inkumsah is a news desk editor and can be reached at ashley.inkumsah@ubspectrum.com.