By Alex Mosher
On April 16, the convening of the 82nd session of the Associated Students of the University of Nevada Senate began with multiple comments from the public that spoke to the controversy surrounding the speaker of the senate elections.
Some comments were congratulating the session, some were helpful reminders, but many of the comments were students endorsing either Senator-elect Caden Fabbi or Senator-elect Nick Beaton for the speaker of the senate position.
The public comments began with former Vice President Elliot Malin, who urged senators to press the candidates with questions.
“Find the best candidate for the job,” Malin said. “That being said, find one that is professional and that is easy to talk to, that will be the best speaker for you. I will additionally endorse Senator-elect Beaton for the position. I think he will be the best person for the job.”
Additional endorsements for Beaton continued with comments from unidentified students such as:
“I just wanted to say I’ve heard nothing but great things about Senator candidate Nicholas Beaton. He’s very approachable and makes himself very available to a lot of students.”
Some students spoke out against Fabbi.
“My understanding of Senator Fabbi, honestly I don’t think he’s the right man for the job because during the last term he did personally attack vice president Malin, which from my understanding, (Malin) did nothing wrong,” said an unidentified student during public comment. “It was just a waste of senate’s time, a waste of university’s time, and that’s all I have to say.”
Daniel Coffey, a senator from the 80th session, spoke at the podium next, encouraging senators to see past personal qualms.
“I challenge you to look at the resumes, to look at the plans of action of each of the candidates and do not be swayed by someone who is going to come up here and speak on a situation that no one at this table is completely aware of except for the individuals who are involved,” Coffey said.
After hearing comments from the public, listening to the two speeches and engaging in a 10-minute long discussion, the 82nd session of the ASUN Senate elected Fabbi to be the speaker of the senate.
During the discussion senators voiced their concerns with electing Beaton, stating that Fabbi was more experienced because he sat on four ASUN committees, compared to Beaton’s two, chaired the budget and finances committee, sponsored over 40 pieces of legislation and was recognized as “Senator of the Year” for his efforts.
Multiple senators during the discussion agreed that Fabbi’s experience overseeing meetings in the budget and finance committee would aid him greatly if he were elected to oversee senate meetings.
After the election, Malin pointed out that former Speaker of the Senate Sarah Byrnes was never a committee chair, yet he said she did an excellent job as speaker.
Malin also said that he was disappointed with the results of the election, stating that he believed Beaton’s leadership style would have been more effective in the speaker position.
“It will be a hindrance to the senate if they’re micromanaged, and I think that Senator Beaton wouldn’t have done that,” Malin said. “I can see Speaker Fabbi doing that because I’ve seen it happen. Not to say he hasn’t done a good job on the projects he’s micromanaged, but the senate is there to work as a collective, not a singular person.”
In the end Senate showed a strong favor to elect Fabbi with Fabbi receiving double the votes Beaton received.
“I think that the 82nd session can still be fantastic,” Beaton said. “I said that in my speech, and I truly believe it…but I’m very disappointed that I won’t get to lead the senate to those fantastic things.”
Later in the night, Beaton was elected as chair of the government operations committee.
Alex Mosher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.