Student Government Association (SGA) Senator Julia Nicolls resigned from her position as parliamentarian after less than a week to become the committee chair of the SGA’s new environmental commission that she helped found, the Environmental Protection and Conservation Commission (EPACC). The timing of her departure was not a coincidence and was actually meticulously planned out and coordinated within SGA.
The student government is still shifting and settling after the recent elections which saw turnovers in many senate seats and in senate leadership.
Nicolls’ term would end at the SGA’s “joint session,” a meeting in which the newly elected senators take their positions and the senate leadership elections are held, was the perfect time for Nicolls to transition from parliamentarian then back into her desired role of chair of EPACC.
“Her passion to guide us to be better stewards of our one planet will steer EPACC towards unprecedented success,” said EPACC co-founder and Senate Speaker Arthur Adriano about Nicolls.
Nicolls was the first commissioner of the EPACC after its creation but the senate’s by-laws, or rules, require that a senator have served at least one full term as senator before being eligible for senate leadership.
Nomination as the committee chair also requires from SGA Vice President, so Nicolls had to wait until the new executive board of the SGA was settled before making any moves towards the committee chair position.
“With many returning senators aspiring for committee chair positions or other ones on senate leadership, there were few people of the portion who were qualified that we interested in the position,” Nicolls said via email.
Nicolls spoke to her successor Senator Kayla Rivers before her departure as parliamentarian, discussing Rivers’s interest in the role.
“Considering this was a week long process and her taking the position was anticipated, it was a very easy transition,” Nicolls said.
The speed of the turnover did not bother Speaker Adriano, who was just sworn in earlier this month. He said he just followed precedents and by-laws about transitions.
Speaker Adriano said Nicolls served well as Parliamentarian and that he was thankful for her leadership and commitment to both the student government and student body.
“I am beyond excited to work with Parliamentarian Kayla Rivers” Adriano said.
Speaker Adriano said he worked with Rivers as an Arts and Sciences senator and said that he is confident in Rivers’s ability as the SGA parliamentarian.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Parliamentarian Rivers will effectively lead and guide the senate this term,” Adriano said.
Rivers said she is excited to take on the role of parliamentarian, and said that she’s aware of the responsibility of the position.
“Knowing Senator River’s interest in the position, the inevitable delay to my nomination, and my qualifying experience serving as a Freshman Senator I decided to accept the nomination towards the position,” Nicolls said.
As of April 15, Senator Kayla Rivers is now Senate Parliamentarian for this term. Rivers said her goals for this term are to uphold the constitution, ensuring the actions of the Legislative Branch follow procedure, and making sure the senate is well versed in Robert’s Rules of Order.
“I have big shoes to fill and already entrusted by the student body with the privilege to represent their needs, I take even more pride in assuming the role of Parliamentarian,” said Rivers.
Mia Page can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.