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Saturday, May 18, 2024

ASM Student Council elects new leaders, loses prominent SSFC chair

The Associated Students of Madison voted on leadership positions and received the resignation of one committee chair at a meeting Thursday. 


Student members spent a considerable amount of time listening to the vice chair nominees, Hannah Karns, chair of the Legislative Affairs committee, and Student Services Finance Committee Chair Alex Gallagher, attest to their strengths as leaders. Karns and Gallagher discussed time commitments, academic flexibility and past experience as ASM members.  


Each nominee discussed his or her plans if elected vice chair. Karns expressed the importance of communication, while Gallagher said ASM should think big"" and promote outreach to UW-Madison's large campus. 


The board voted to elect Karns as the vice chair of ASM for the 2008-09 academic school year and to postpone the election for chair position.  


Before the meeting's close, Gallagher announced his resignation from ASM, citing the organization's lack of new representation and need for reform.  


""ASM is not really moving in the direction that I will continue to support,"" Gallagher said. ""I feel like reform is going to be a tough issue for this body to handle - o - ofar more than I have the patience for."" 


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ASM recently released a statement addressing the failures of the student government following a State of the ASM address with very poor student attendance. The organization said it would restructure its systematic issues and regain legitimacy.  


Gallagher said it would require new student involvement in the organization to better address reform issues, adding he was no longer motivated to continue working with the counsel.  


Many members of the counsel expressed deep regret about Gallagher's decision to leave. ASM representative and chair nominee Jeff Wright said, ""I am thoroughly disappointed that Alex Gallagher is leaving this body '¦ I think we are at a huge loss with him leaving personally, he has been a massive vertebrae and backbone for ASM this past year."" 


The board also selected chairs for the counsel's committees including the Finance Committee, Legislative Affairs, SSFC, Campus Relations, and the Nominations Board.  


Members voted Brittany Wiegend as the new chair of Legislative Affairs and Frances Charapata as Campus Relations chair. Charapata said she would work with the student council to strengthen ties to the local media and develop a timeline to increase communication with the student body. 


The counsel plans to meet once a month during the summer and will reconvene in the fall every other Wednesday.

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