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The ninety-second session of the Associated Students of the University of Nevada, Reno convened on April 17 with plenty of brand-new faces at the senate table.

Presidential, vice presidential inaugural address

Zoe Malen/Nevada Sagebrush Dawson Deal and Liesel Kemmelmeier embrace after their announced win at the 2024 ASUN elections
Zoe Malen/Nevada Sagebrush
Dawson Deal and Liesel Kemmelmeier embrace after their announced win at the 2024 ASUN elections.

Dawson Deal, the new president of the ASUN, and Liesel Kemmelmeier, the new vice president of the ASUN, were sworn into their positions in the Joe Crowley Student Union’s fourth four ballrooms.

Kemmelmeier took the podium first to give her inaugural address. She told the body that she didn’t plan to return to ASUN after facilitating the previous elections. However, she said that even though ASUN is not perfect, she wanted to come back and promote positive change, which is when she went into government affairs.

She talked about needing to find undergraduate resources and continue pushing through obstacles for this.

“When it came down to who I would run with, Dawson was my natural first choice,” Kemmelmeier said. “We both envisioned an ASUN built on inclusivity, unity and impactful leadership.”

Deal followed with his own inaugural address, discussing his responsibility to serve, listen and advocate for students. 

“True leadership is not about wielding power, but empowering others,” Deal said. “We envision a Nevada where every voice matters, diversity is celebrated and leadership embodies positive change.” 

Deal says many students have voiced concerns about affordability in college, which they hope to continue to provide resources to help. He said he wants to work ‘tirelessly’ to make sure all students can thrive at the university and will continue to collaborate with the senate and the student body to address these challenges.

Speaker elected 

For the new speaker position to replace Fayza Salah of the ninety-first session, there were four speaker nominations, including Aween Ali, senator for the College of Engineering; Antony Kuhl, senator for the College of Engineering; Leaf Acklin, senator for the College of Liberal Arts; and Vera Vaz, senator for the College of Science.

Acklin went first, presenting his experience and discussing why he wanted to be speaker. Tori Beaulac, senator for the College of Science, critiqued him for previously not agendizing correctly. 

Following Acklin, Kuhl discussed his want for a tougher leadership position, calling the previous session a “verbal anarchy” when it came to discussions. He told the table he wasn’t afraid to use the gavel, which some senators agreed with. 

Ali went third, discussing her want for some change in the senate and more connection with higher administration. Ali has good connections to Brian Sandoval, president of the university, from her time with the Muslim Student Association and their direct meetings. The senators found it important and useful to use these connections with the university and ASUN.

When Vaz presented last, many senators critiqued her lack of time spent on the senate table since she was elected halfway through the last session and hasn’t had long-term experience in senate. 

After all the presentations, senators had a long discussion regarding which speakers had the most strengths. The discussion came down to two senators, Ali and Kuhl, and there was a discussion about whether higher administration connections or the running of a tight ship was more important to the senate.

After discussion, Ali won with 15 votes, versus Kuhl with four, Vaz with zero and Acklin with zero. In turn, Ali was elected as speaker of the ninety-second session.

The session then took a 10-minute recess at 8 p.m.

Speaker pro tempore elected

When the senate came back into session, the nominations for speaker pro tempore came forth, which included Carmina Aglubat, senator for the College of Liberal Arts; Joel Martin, senator for the College of Liberal Arts; and Kelsea Frobes, senator for the School of Journalism.

Aglubat presented first, talking about her preparation of stepping into the role of speaker at the senate. She also discussed how she was recently an intern so she knows first-hand what interns need and are looking for, giving her the ability to run the ASUN intern program. Aglubat said there’s a lot of disconnect between the interns and the senators, and she wanted to push more lived experience at the senate table. 

Martin told the table he was running for this position because he wanted to improve the internship program and hold the senators accountable for their mentorship role. He wants interns to do hands-on work and to listen to the senators about internship collaboration options. He said the internship from the last session had a lack of marketing and tabling, saying that not enough people knew about it and that they didn’t see enough interns. 

Frobes presented last and said she wanted to promote more collaboration with the interns, saying her experience in journalism would help her with this. Frobes said she spoke with previous speaker pro tempores and said she has wanted to be pro tempore for a while. She said tabling is needed for the ASUN internship as well.

Steven Spurlock, senator for the College of Business said he believed Aglubat had specific plans. Frobes wanted to hear what everyone had to say, but Martin met in the middle and said that he wanted him for pro tempore. Houghtelling said Aglubat had direct plans and this was needed in the pro tempore position.

After a lengthy discussion, Aglubat won the speaker pro tempore position with 12 votes, followed by Martin with four and Frobes with three.

Parliamentarian postponed 

A parliamentarian was not selected for the senate body due to Ali asking for more time to interview candidates and pick the appropriate person for the job.

Two committee chair elects

The Committee on Academics and Student Affairs had only one nominee each. This chair was elected unanimously in the meeting.

Chair, Committee on Academics and Student Affairs – Tucker Godspeed, senator for the College of Business

Emma Doty, senator for the College of Science, ran against Spurlock for Budget and Finance. However, Beaulac motioned to move directly to a vote and there was no discussion about the candidates. Spurlock won the seat with a majority and only two votes in favor of Doty.

Chair, Committee on Budget and Finance – Steven Spurlock, senator for the College of Business

Due to the Joe Crowley Student Union closing at a specific time, the committee chair nominees and elections were postponed to be discussed and chosen at the next senate meeting. All senate meetings in the future will be held in the Rita Laden Senate Chambers every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

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

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