The ASUI Senate filled a vacant seat Wednesday after UI senior George Wood was voted in unanimously.
“It called to me,” Wood said. “The position comes with it a lot of passion, and I feel inclined to be able to perform in that measure to serve students to the best of my ability as I work to make their voice heard.”
Wood said he has served on student organizations since his freshman year and is currently involved with the Center for Volunteerism and Social Action. Prior to ASUI, he worked with the Women’s Center, The Argonaut and the Resident Hall Association.
Wood said he would like to make ASUI a more visible presence on campus for the undergraduate population.
“I think that as it exists now, there is somewhat of a disconnect between ASUI and the student body, which is unfortunate, because ASUI does a lot for the student body, but right now it’s not necessarily understood what that looks like and what it manifests itself as,” Wood said.
ASUI Pro-Tempore Mattie Cupps said the senate collectively decided on Wood after he interviewed and it was his experience that was the determining factor, as well as his confidence.
“Coming in mid-semester is really hard for some senators because they may not have the experience or they may be intimidated by not knowing anyone in ASUI, but in George Wood’s case, he knows a lot of people on ASUI and has that experience to just jump in and get the ball rolling immediately, which really pushed us towards him,” Cupps said.
Cupps said Wood made the decision easy for the senate.
During the meeting, it was also announced that Rory Butcher had resigned from his position on the senate, leaving a new seat vacant.
ASUI President Cruz Botello said Butcher left the senate because he no longer had enough time to dedicate to ASUI, but he will be missed around the office.
“Throughout his time here, he was just awesome to have around. I really enjoyed his company and his ideas,” Botello said. “He had a way with words that was unlike any other senator, which I appreciated.”
Botello said the senate looks to fill the seat as soon as possible and hopes to find someone who can fill the shoes that Butcher left, but he believes Wood is a great start.
Botello said senate applications will be available on VandalSync starting Monday for two weeks. He wants the new senator to be hired by March 1.
“I encourage any outspoken student with a vision and desire to implement change on campus to consider applying,” Botello said.
Olivia Heersink can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @heersinkolivia