Taylor Tutin elected new MSA senate speaker in emergency senate meeting

The election came after Hunter Windholz resigned on Monday.

MSA speaker Taylor Tutin in her new office.

A previous version of this caption said Taylor Tutin’s title is the interim MSA speaker but has been corrected to say her title is MSA speaker. The Maneater regrets this error.

A previous version of this caption said Taylor Tutin’s title is the interim MSA speaker but has been corrected to say her title is MSA speaker. The Maneater regrets this error.

A previous version of this caption said Taylor Tutin’s title is the interim MSA speaker but has been corrected to say her title is MSA speaker. The Maneater regrets this error.

A previous version of this caption said Taylor Tutin’s title is the interim MSA speaker but has been corrected to say her title is MSA speaker. The Maneater regrets this error.

A previous version of this caption said Taylor Tutin’s title is the interim MSA speaker but has been corrected to say her title is MSA speaker. The Maneater regrets this error.

A previous version of this caption said Taylor Tutin’s title is the interim MSA speaker but has been corrected to say her title is MSA speaker. The Maneater regrets this error.

A previous version of this caption said Taylor Tutin’s title is the interim MSA speaker but has been corrected to say her title is MSA speaker. The Maneater regrets this error.

A previous version of this caption said Taylor Tutin’s title is the interim MSA speaker but has been corrected to say her title is MSA speaker. The Maneater regrets this error.

A previous version of this caption said Taylor Tutin’s title is the interim MSA speaker but has been corrected to say her title is MSA speaker. The Maneater regrets this error.

Taylor Tutin was elected senate speaker for the Missouri Students Association in an emergency senate meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

“Speaker [Hunter] Windholz unexpectedly resigned for personal reasons on January 15, 2018,” MSA Senate’s press release stated.

MSA had no further comment on the resignation.

Tutin ran against Tim Davis, chair of the Campus and Community Relations Committee, but won in an 11-10 vote.

“I believe that Taylor and I were both highly qualified and highly respected candidates,” Davis said in an email. “The chamber had a hard decision to make and did not make it lightly, as the vote reflected. In the end, they felt like Taylor would be the better leader, and I have nothing but respect for their decision.”

Academic senator Solomon Davis, whose speech was read by Aleksander Shanks, vice chair of the Social Justice Committee, because Davis could not attend, mentioned that the vote for the new speaker needed to reflect a culture change in senate.

“The dynamics of this university are changing, as we see with budget cuts, and if students are being impacted more so than they have in the past, then we as MSA need to step up our efforts to meet those changes and respond,” Davis wrote.

In Davis’ opinion, one of these issues is the disconnect between the student body and MSA.

“We are there every week as students representing them, but yet a common student or a lot of students can’t tell one thing we’ve done for them this past year,” Davis said. “And that’s a pretty big problem in my opinion.”

Since Tutin is now the official speaker, she has to resign from her position as chair of the Academic Affairs Committee. However, she plans to continue to oversee the committee.

“I’m going to leave the position vacant for the time being just because I don’t see value in appointing a new chair, unless they went through confirmation very quickly, because in two months the new speaker could want someone totally different to fill the position,” Tutin said. Tutin will serve as the speaker for the remainder of Windholz’s term, and elections for the new speaker will be held after a budget is passed later in the semester.

Tutin’s main goal as speaker is to ensure a smooth transition period following Windholz’s resignation.

“Obviously, with an unexpected resignation, it’s been a little tumultuous,” Tutin said. “With the necessity of passing the budget it’s important that there’s consistency, communication, and trust within the association, so I’m probably not going to start any initiatives that are new and revolutionary. I’m probably just going to be the backbone until the next speaker gets there.”

Edited by Skyler Rossi | srossi@themaneater.com

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