College News

ASM chair breaks tie on tight leadership race

Legislative Affairs Vice Chair Sydney Scott and Outreach Assistant Malcolm Stern needed a tie-breaking vote in their election for Legislative Affairs Chair.

Image By: Jon Yoon

Legislative Affairs Vice Chair Sydney Scott will take over as chair of the committee after ASM Chair Katrina Morrison served as the tie-breaking vote in the committee election Tuesday night.

Current Legislative Affairs Chair Kat Kerwin is running for City Council in 2018 in her native Providence, Rhode Island, leaving her seat vacant for the second semester. Scott will hold the seat through next spring.

Scott ran against Outreach Assistant Malcolm Stern, who was critical of Legislative Affairs’ “isolationist” image.

“There are a lot of students — they have different ideas, but they don’t want to approach the Legislative Affairs Committee because they either feel that it’s too partisan or they will be shunned within the committee,” Stern said.

But Kerwin said his comments were out of “ignorance” since he only attended two committee meetings.

The main difference between Stern and Scott was their varied emphasis on state issues; some representatives worried that Stern’s interest in city issues overshadowed the committee’s usual state-based focus.

Rep. Sam Landowski questioned Stern’s priorities, arguing that state and federal issues needed attention from the Legislative Affairs Chair.

“There are a lot of really pertinent issues that affect the daily lives of students here and we’ve all been campaigning and lobbying and sure, it hasn’t been effective,” Landowski said. “But we can’t be active in that battle if we didn’t make that effort.”

During candidate endorsements, several ASM reps and legislative affairs committee members praised Scott for her federal lobbying background. Scott said she grew up on a cranberry farm outside of Warrens, Wisconsin and went to Washington, D.C. to speak on legislation involving the industry.

While she thinks city issues matter and plans to address them as chair, Scott said looking at the state and federal levels is important.

“We need to be addressing the state Legislature because they are the ones directly affecting budgets. My goal is just to make sure that we are completely prepared for this upcoming budget year because it is a Republican Legislature,” Scott said. “I think it’ll be really helpful to have someone who understands both sides, growing up where I have.”

UPDATE Dec. 6, 4:53 p.m.: A previous version of this article stated that Scott is from Lawrence, Wisconsin. She is actually from Warrens, Wisconsin. The Daily Cardinal regrets this error.

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