October 17, 2014

SG president creates new executive cabinet

College Council (CC) voted in favor of appointing students slated for five new executive committee positions yesterday. Student Government (SG) President Tyler Kissinger established the positions through an executive order power he established for himself this year. Though CC voted at Assembly, not all of the Graduate Council has been seated, so the appointments will not be finalized until Graduate Council votes on Monday.

The new positions and students slated are Miguel Ortega for chief of staff, Geoffrey Wang for director of finance, Alita Carbone for director of communications, Daniel Chen for director of new ventures, and Jeremy Archer for director of technology. The council passed the appointments with 13 votes in favor and four absent.

Kissinger established the power of the SG president to issue executive orders over the summer and then released a series of unprecedented orders creating these five new positions. Though the constitution does not explicitly give power to the president to create executive orders, Kissinger says that each one “cites from the bylaws what in the bylaws gives me the authority to do that.”

Kissinger said he decided to implement these reforms after his experience in SG last year, drawing inspiration from the organizational structure of Northwestern University’s student government. Each position will receive a small stipend that comes from the administrative budget, which Kissinger said is also found in other schools.

The positions of the chief of staff and the director of communications existed unofficially in the past, but their duties were only officially established with the executive orders. The chief of staff will act as the liaison between the president and the executive committee, as well as aiding the president in other projects as needed. The executive orders placed the director of communications in charge of general communication and SG’s social media.

Each of the other three positions has a number of responsibilities enumerated in the executive orders. What Kissinger calls “looking at new sorts of revenue streams” is among the responsibilities of the director of new ventures, who will work jointly with the director of finance. The director of finance is charged with organizing a database that catalogs the financial expenditures of SG and dealing with SG finances in general. The responsibilities of the director of technology include oversight over the SG website and developing technological resources for the use of students and RSOs.

The power to appoint these executive committee positions belongs solely to the SG president. As such, the appointees are held accountable by the president, who can remove them from office.