In virtual meeting, SGA Senate confirms new executive cabinet


Gerardo Aguilera | @jerry21aguilera, Contributing Writer

A new crop of student government officials took office this week, but instead of filing into the Ferg Forum, they conducted affairs from the comfort of their own homes. Their first order of (virtual) business: confirming a new executive cabinet.

In a Zoom meeting on Thursday, the UA Student Government Association (SGA) elected Olivia Davis as speaker of the Senate, Ellie Schulman as secretary of the Senate . 

Davis, a junior majoring in psychology and political science and a two-time senator in the College of Arts and Sciences, joined First Year Council her freshman year and served as a senator her sophomore year. She was recently re-elected as a senator in this year’s uncontested election. 

“It is an incredible honor to be nominated by my peers for this position,” Davis said after being appointed. “I am looking forward to continuing my service to the students of UA as a senator, and I also look forward to having the opportunity to serve my fellow senators as their speaker. I am very grateful to be surrounded by a group of talented students committed to serving the student body, and I am thrilled to see what we are able to accomplish in the future.”

Jackson Fuentes, a junior majoring in public relations and political science, was also confirmed with the rest of the executive cabinet. This will be his second time serving as SGA press secretary. The position, which was created last year by former SGA President Harrison Adams, is designed to keep students informed about SGA and campus events. 

“It is an honor to have been confirmed by the SGA Senate this evening after being appointed by SGA President Joiner,” Fuentes said. “I look forward to continuing to serve students and forge meaningful relationships with campus media outlets.” 

The election came after a special session that Wednesday, which was called by the newly-elected SGA President Demarcus Joiner after signing an executive order to officially dissolve the 2019-2020 executive cabinet. This is a customary process that follows most SGA inaugurations, but, because of coronavirus-related closures, Joiner’s cabinet was the first to be confirmed virtually.

In the special session, the new SGA Senate nominated necessary members of all three executive branches, including Kathryn Hayes as the next SGA chief of staff. Joiner interviewed over 45 individuals to serve on the executive cabinet. Deliberations were then made before he announced his cabinet on Thursday, April 2. Out of the 48 individuals who applied, 17 were chosen to serve alongside Joiner.

“SGA continues to champion a thorough and competitive cabinet application process for all students,” Fuentes said. “The Joiner administration’s executive cabinet was diligently selected after careful deliberation and thorough interviews.”

Fuentes urged all remaining applicants to apply for directorship positions, which are open until April 9. View the full list of confirmed cabinet members below.

  • Chief Advisor to the President – Morgan Ross
  • Director of Engagement – Emry Summerville  
  • Director of Strategic Initiatives – Ellie Adams
  • Deputy Chief of Staff – Scott Haft 
  • Treasure – Eli Loncar 
  • Chief Administrative Officer – Caroline Bonhaus
  • Director of Programming & Advancement – Eric Robinson 
  • Director of IT & Webmaster – Emily Davignon 
  • Deputy Chief of Staff – Nathan Yamaguchi 
  • Press Secretary – Jackson Fuentes 
  • Director of Communications – Will Bradley 
  • Director of Environmental Affairs – Leilani Johnson 
  • Attorney General – Hunter Scott 
  • Deputy Chief of Staff – Trinity Hunter 
  • Chief Justice – Grace Meagher 
  • Senate Secretary – Ellie Schulman 
  • Speaker of the Senate – Olivia Davis