After thorough debate, Rep. Alzaidi will not serve on SSFC in the 25th session

Nominations Board is voted in favor of by Student Judiciary in a discrimination case brought up by Sophia Alzaidi, a former SSFC member.

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

Following the nominations to the Student Services Finance Committee, Rep. Sophia Alzaidi fought for one last chance in front of Student Council on Thursday.

After much discussion between ASM representatives and Rep. Adam Fearing, the nomination recommendations remained the same, and Rep. Alzaidi did not have one of the five available seats.

Prior to the final vote, Rep. Alzaidi asked the members of ASM to “vote down” the decision of the SSFC nominations board. These nominations followed a series of interviews conducted over the past two days.

“I have been a diligent voter. I expressed nothing but open-mindedness in every context,” Alzaidi said. “I’ve had no fear in voicing my opinions in the past.”

The SSFC nominations asked candidates to bring three qualities to the table, including open-mindedness, contributing and adding diversity to student council and ASM knowledge and experience. Alzaidi believes she had all of these characteristics prior to interviewing.

In her time as an SSFC member, she had previously worked with Rep. Jordan Madden in leading the proposal behind offering emergency oral contraceptives in place of IUDs at a low cost at UHS.

“I feel like the decision that was made is not telling of the criteria that the noms board,” Alzaidi said. “I think that the decision should be reconsidered based on my experience, my leadership skills and all of the qualities that I have that I feel make me qualified to be on SSFC.”

Rep. Madden spoke on behalf of Alzaidi, defending against the “appalling results” of the SSFC nominations in one of his last acts as a representative of student government.

“Representative Alzaidi, in addition to being a diverse voice and an open-minded and talented leader, I truly think that the committee would benefit with their presence on there just as we’ve seen in this past session and the hard work that she’s committed into the students of UW-Madison and the integrity of SSFC,” Rep. Madden said.

Adam Fearing, the nominations chair, recommended five other candidates to the board. In total, there were 30 applicants for SSFC. Not every candidate, despite being qualified, would be able to attain a position.

“I’m proud of these nominations and I stand by them 100 percent,” Rep. Fearing said.

Of the appointees, three of them are returning members and two are new to the committee. According to the criteria passed down by the previous nominations chair, Evan Pelke, it’s important to value both veterans and new members of ASM.

“If I thought these nominations were incorrect, I would gladly go back and interview everybody again, do the process over again,” Rep. Fearing said.

Following Rep. Alzaidi’s speech, concerns on representation were mentioned, but Rep. Fearing ensured there was “ample diversity” in the selection the nominations board came to. Of the nominations, four of the selections were female, one a person of color.

“Contributing and adding diversity to student council, I think is one of the biggest things that was a strong suit in my interview and who I am as a person, being a person of color and a LGBTQ person,” Alzaidi said.

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