The University of Rhode Island Student Senate is currently dealing with an unprecedented conflict of interest during the primary presidential election. Student presidential candidate Adriana Wilding and her vice president running mate Abdulwhab Alquirtas were disqualified from the election per the appeal of an Elections Committee ruling. This matter would normally be dealt with by the Rules and Ethics Committee within Student Senate. However, according to the Student Organization Advisory and Review Committee Chair, Austin Cordova, the group was “not able to confidently make a recommendation for their committee.” This is due to an unknown conflict of interest within the committee.
As a result, the Rules and Ethics Committee requested that the Executive Board handle the appeal. It is important to know that the Executive Board has not been presented with any information on this matter. On Monday, members of the Board will get together and be presented with details as to why the running mates were disqualified. Next Wednesday, Senators will be briefed and will then vote on the bill to disqualify Wilding and Alquirtas.
Earlier in the meeting, Campus Chair Kelly Watka introduced a topic she is passionate about. “In light of the recent events that are happening, we want to work with some organizations to promote a gun violence prevention and awareness event,” Watka said. Watka encouraged other Senators to come to her Committee meetings to share ideas about this topic.
The Cultural Chair, Nicollette St. Amand, planned their March Diversity event for Women’s History Month. They plan to feature professors and different department heads who they think “embody women empowerment.” Chair Amand is hoping these powerful women will share their success stories, as well as failures they have faced.