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The Associated Students of the University of Nevada, Reno’s senate table stirred controversy at their Feb. 14 meeting when discussing candidate appointments for the judicial council, due to an ongoing concern from a senator in the College of Engineering about the process of choosing candidates by the council. 


Dhruv Shekar was nominated to become assistant director of budget and assessment for the Department of Event Programming.

Joel Martin, senator for the College of Liberal Arts, was concerned about Shekar “jumping the gun” on doing his job before he was officially in the position, which he argued was not Shekar’s fault but the department’s fault.

Shekar was voted into the position with only two ‘no’ votes.

Tori Beaulac, senator for the College of Science, and Kelsea Frobes, senator for the School of Journalism, voted no on the nomination. They told the table after the vote that they voted “no” because they didn’t just want to vote for someone to vote for someone. Beaulac said his lack of budget experience on his resume was “concerning.”

Martin said he wished they had told the table their concerns before the vote. 

Tristan Lawrence was also nominated for associate justice for the judicial council.

Aween Ali, senator for the College of Engineering, said she believed Lawrence was a strong candidate for the position because he had the experience backing him up.

Jefrin Jojan, senator for the College of Engineering, said he was the lone voice against the judicial nominees recently, but he believes there is a lack of experience with ASUN official documents and his lack of goals. 

“One of the goals was he was going to deal with controversies in the association, that’s literally the job description of being on the judicial council,” Jojan said. “I’m not really that impressed with the goals … Just because there’s only one person applying, doesn’t mean you should be hiring them or even that they should be coming to the senate for nominations.”

Martin said he was also concerned but noted Lawrence possesses remarkable work ethic and well-formulated answers to the questions the senators asked him.

“I was really impressed by him actually,” Martin said. “I can definitely overlook the fact that he doesn’t know much about the governing documents because I think that will come in time.”

Adam Ahmed, senator for the College of Science, said saying “yes” to everything is a problem, but he believed he was qualified for the job. He also added that many senators may not know the details of the Statutes of the Associated Students until they get into the job as well.

Jojan then asked Brayden Taeubel, the chief justice, how many candidates applied for the position. 

Taeubel first said he finds it “incredibly disrespectful” that he only received one application for the position and that he was picking people who were not qualified. He then added that the associate justice is the lowest paid position in ASUN and that senators make three times what an associate justice does. 

“I’m not going to tell you how many people applied, but it was more than six,” Taeubel said. “So the narrative that there’s slim pickings out there and there’s no one to hire is just false. I’m picking the people that are qualified, that are passionate, that want to learn, that want to be a part of the association … I think there just needs to be a little bit higher respect for the hiring process and the association as a whole.” 

Jojan said that he’s more concerned about the process and the way they are thinking about the candidates, not any specific person. He added that if everyone was just “rubber stamping” decisions, there would be no need for a senate and that his questions were essential. 

Ali said that the importance was a passion to learn and not just a focus on extensive experience.

Lawrence was voted into the position, with one abstained vote from Jojan on the appointment.

Bills and resolutions

S.R. 91: A Binding Resolution To Add An Undocumented Student Programs Liaison Position to the Department of IDEA was postponed for the following week.

Jaedyn Young can be reached at or on Twitter @jaedyn_young3.

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